Two Novembers ago, I stumbled onto a blog post that spoke to my soul.
Someone called Cordelia was finding National Novel Writing Month to be a challenge; though she had no trouble plugging along at work she hated at the office, she had a difficult time sitting down to write her novel, even though she loves to write.
This was a dilemma I could relate to. I clicked through and discovered Cordelia Calls it Quits, a blog that turns the old saying “Quitters never win and winners never quit” on its head. Cordelia’s been on my blogroll ever since.
Cordelia’s philosophy is simple: she’s quitting the things she doesn’t want. Things like debt, a job that’s not right for her, letting other people get on her nerves, and her own tendency to want to be the office wunderkind are all on Cordelia’s list of Quits.
Last Friday, I caught up with Cordelia to g-chat with her about her philosophy, freelancing, and how her life has changed since she started her mission to Quit. Below is the interview, which is divided into three parts with page breaks. Click through, and enjoy.
Editor’s note: The following interview was conducted over the internet and has been edited. Typos have been corrected, and for the sake of clarity, some sections of the interview have been moved around.
Calling it Quits
AJ: So, let’s talk about your blog. Some of my readers know about your blog, Cordelia Calls it Quits, but some don’t.
Can you describe your blog in one sentence for those who haven’t checked it out yet?
Cordelia: Sure. CCIQ is about my attempts to make my life better by getting rid of the things that don’t matter, in order to make more room for the things that do.
AJ: I’ve been following you for, I think, two years now. I think I found you on the front page of WordPress one day, and I was intrigued by the stapler graphic and the title, so I clicked over and was hooked by your posts and your writing style. But CCIQ had been pretty established by then. When did you start the blog?
Cordelia: My first post was in November 2010, so two years ago now.
(How did THAT happen? It feels like yesterday!)
AJ: Wow. So tell me – back in 2010 what specifically did you want to quit? What I mean by that was what made you say, “That’s it. I’m quitting. And I’m going to record it in blog form”?
Cordelia: Well, the blogging idea had kind of been percolating for several months. I first found “the blogosphere” after reading The Happiness Project, then going to Gretchen Rubin’s blog, from which I suddenly found myself exploring this entire new world online of people who were trying to make big changes in their lives–just like I wanted to. My job was obviously the biggest Quit, the underlying Quit driving the whole blog. That was the one thing that most severely needed to be changed, in order for the rest of my life to get in shape. The decision to actually start my own blog, though? It was honestly one of those, “ah, why not try it?” kind of things. I’d been reading so many other people’s blogs, and I’d been longing to get back into writing, so I figured, what did I have to lose?
AJ: The blogging form has turned out to be a very successful format for you. You’ve got a pretty big base of subscribers, don’t you?
Cordelia: To my amazement, yes! I have about 245 email subscribers and 250 through feedburner.
AJ: That’s awesome!
Cordelia: I just broke the 600 mark on Twitter, which still kind of baffles me, lol. No, actually…just checked and it’s nearing 700 now. (Again, how did THAT happen?)
AJ: Probably they’re all drawn to your mission of quitting the things that don’t matter in life.
Cordelia: I was definitely surprised by how many people that message resonated with. There are so many self-improvement blogs out there, but something about the idea of “quitting” things really draws people.
AJ: You frame quitting as being a very positive, subversively cool thing to do.
Cordelia: “Subversively cool”…I like that. I may steal that. 🙂
Next section: The Quits.