Remembering Dooce, remembering to pause.
"It's an odd time to be online"—it really is. I'm finding that in addition to wanting to touch grass more than post Instagram stories, I'm also spending more time on my "big devices" and much less on my phone. My phone feels like an artifact of a more self-surveilling, self-conscious relationship with the internet, whereas the work I do on my "big devices" is much more exploratory and contextual.
The result is still personal writing. Maybe even more personal than I achieved during my phone-obsessed years. But it's also more connected to the wider world.
This resonates. Online activity is genuinely addictive, and making space for intentional time offline is essential. Thanks for the reminder, Katie. Be well!
Congratulations on recognizing what you need and saying no to some projects, at least temporarily. I appreciate your honesty and courage. I also know how hard it can be to juggle writing with the rest of life, and I don’t have the added challenge of parenting.
My own mental health issues led me to create a “Depression and Anxiety Survival Kit” that I hope will help others: https://bit.ly/40MED7A. It’s a free ebook (PDF download) of simple things I do that help me cope.
Best wishes as you figure out your next steps and I look forward to reading your newsletter again in June!
The stepping away is sometimes so important. Thank you for sharing your experience and big hugs as you figure out what’s the next right thing here for you
Thank you for sharing this wonderful perspective on our conflicted, complex modern lives. There is such power in taking a break and it is so difficult to do. Good luck finding what you are running for and to.
I think every new and experienced writer will find this relatable. Thank you for expressing it so honestly. Really sorry for your loss.
Enjoy the writing break and hope it provides you the opportunity to clear your brain and feel good about what you are doing going forward.
Every single time I hit the send button with a new blog, I wonder to myself if I have over-shared, under-shared, made myself too vulnerable, or if my writing is going to get into the hands of someone I don’t want it to. most of the time, I hit the button anyway, but usually I close my eyes, think good thoughts and push the button before I change my mind. Then, usually each week I wonder if I should stop writing my blog because I think I’m being self-centered and sounding almost slightly crazy with the ups and downs of my life and what goes on inside my mind.
Anyway, you definitely struck a chord with this post. I look forward to reading what you write again in June. Take care:)
I really appreciate this post, and it was so sad to see about Dooce. It is exactly how conflicted I feel about the online world right now. I want to be in my 3d more, I deleted the apps and I try to engage more with the present moment and what's in front of me, but then along came Substack Notes and more noise to contend with. Also, as a self-employed artist and writer, most of my work comes from engaging in these spaces. I feel like I'm both pulling away from it and diving deeper into it at the same time...
Yes, to all of this. As someone who also struggles with mental health and read Dooce, thank you for writing this.
Thank you for always being vulnerable and transparent with your readers. It makes a difference and encourages others to speak their truths. I was almost hospitalized in a mental institution as a child. I’ve carried shame about that for almost 30 years, only recently telling a therapist about it. Now I know it wasn’t my fault and there is no shame in seeking help when you need it. Sending you lots of love and light to you during this time of transition.
This cuts deep. Thank you for writing such a beautiful essay.
Wow, this piece made me cry. Thank you for sharing. I keep giving so much of myself away here and I, too, just want to play in the grass with my child.
Enjoy your well-deserved break. 💜
I just want to thank you for this post and wish you well as you recalibrate. I’m a writer and parenting blogger from that era, and Heather was a colleague. I share your deep sense of loss and grief, ambivalence about online life today, and also, the memory of the beauty and interconnection of those mid-2000s. In 2021 I too had to step away from a project I loved to reassess my relationship to online writing. Just know you’re not alone, and that we’re all people here trying our best. I’m heartened by what’s happening here on SS, though I don’t believe in online saviors. I DO believe in us, and tools that help us find each other.
Thank you for sharing this. It resonates. I mentioned Dooce in one of my posts earlier this year and was really impacted when I saw the news last week. Still am. So much so I shared it with my spouse last night. I applaud you for taking a break and am encouraged by your perspective and writing. I will be interested to see where you go from here.
This made me tear up too. I did not know about Heather but I used to read her years ago. Suicide hits me quite personally after losing my best friend to suicide as a teenager about to embark on her senior year of high school. 💔 also I have had those mean comments on my own substack and being self empowered meant being a little bit self involved and who else is going to do that but me but a nasty person said something about it then had the nerve to call themselves a journalist when all their words were misspelled so I took that with a grain of salt. Katie, you're a gifted and beautifully talented writer. I understand the hiatus and the issues you are facing-- a lot is coming at you at once and you feel things which to me is also beautiful. Let yourself feel them. I look forward to whenever you come back to Substack and reading your work. Take some time for you and again, look forward to seeing you in the future. Xoxo. Take care of you and your 'sweet dumb brain'... ❤️⚘️