And now….some personal news. As some of you know but many don’t, I’ve stepped down at Re/code and I’m leaving full-time tech reporting — at least for the foreseeable future. It’s become par for the course for journalists to pen Medium posts explaining their exit, so please forgive me the cliche. I wanted to make sure I was crafting my own story, instead of letting the silence write it for me.
It’s no secret that media is a tough industry to be in. It’s a far better deal than many jobs, of course, and it has a huge list of privileges and power. But it’s been a tumultuous, unpredictable place ever since I joined it. I look down my work history and marvel at the non-stop transitions — chunks of months here and there, moving to and fro from publication to publication, city to city. The reasons for my departure vary — this TV station stopped paying our paychecks, that publication shut down out of the blue, this one only offered a temporary fellowship, that one started laying people off and fighting for its life.
I held on through the turmoil, doing my best to adapt to each new place, change my writing style to suit a new audience, develop expertise in new beats, prove myself again and again.
For a long time, I’ve been craving another kind of life — one a little more predictable than the life of a journalist. I want to wake up in the morning and have a sense of what the work day will bring. I want to slow down a little — I don’t want to spend the nights and weekends of my years in endless busy mode, trying fruitlessly to keep up with the tide of unexpected news, events and off-the-clock source building that good reporting requires. I want to see far more of my friends and family and take better care of my health.
Does this mean I should quit journalism for good?
I have no idea. It’s the only thing I’ve ever done as an adult — my first job out of college and every gig since. My writing voice has deserted me in rebellion the last few months, but I’m not ready to give up on it. There’s still a lot I love about reporting.
So, I’m taking time to figure myself out. I’m incredibly fortunate and grateful to have a choice in the matter and a safe, supportive place to do so.
I’m subletting my SF apartment and spending time with family in SoCal — my awesome grandmother, my adorable new niece, my cousins who’ve grown up while I’ve been gone. I’m doing career counseling and figuring out what I want my life to look like. I’m having conversations with those who’ve left journalism, those who’ve returned and those working in other kinds of professions.
I’ll continue to freelance occasionally, perhaps in different genres than tech reporting. My editors at Re/code are kind enough to let me finish a few big stories that I didn’t wrap up before leaving, so if all goes well you’ll see a few more posts from me there too.
I want to give a huge thanks to all my mentors of the last few years — Sarah Lacy, who took a chance on me when I didn’t have a single tech reporting clip to my name, Tom Krazit, who gave me a safe place to discover my strengths, and Kara Swisher, Ed Lee and Ken Li who’ve been so patient and supportive even as I was on my way out the door (not to mention all the editors and bosses who got me to the tech journo point — looking at you Natasha Thomas, Jon Wilks, Kenan Davis).