On a hot, boring night in July of 2007, I sat down at my computer to work on what would become the first edition of my first book about the Jersey Shore. But nothing came to me, so instead of opening a Word document, I opened my internet browser, registered for a Blogger.com account and started “Down the Shore with Jen” with a post about bowling. Yes, bowling.
Nearly six years and many posts and stories and articles and another book and a year of writing the blog on Newsworks later, I’m hanging up my shore blogging flip flops.
This has nothing to do with my feelings about that magical place. The more I wrote about the shore, and the deeper I dove into its weird, wonderful corners, the more I fell in love with the place. I wore the title “Jersey Shore Jen” with pride, and the horror of Sandy only solidified those feelings. But my career has been moving in a different direction. I’m working on more long form projects – and not just about the shore. I write a lot of stuff you guys probably never read, but that form the bulk of my writing life and demand more of my attention. I have a book proposal that needs to be completed. I turned down the opportunity to update my Jersey Shore guide again, and the weekly blogging grind doesn’t mesh with what I’m doing now, and will be doing in the future.
I won’t stop writing about the shore. I have upcoming pieces in The New York Times and Philadelphia Magazine, and don’t be surprised if my byline pops up here a few times this summer. But it’s time to sit on Higbee Beach and watch the sun set on this chapter of my career.
It’s been fun, and thanks for following along. I’ll see you down the shore this summer.
Jen A. Miller is author of The Jersey Shore: Atlantic City to Cape May, which is now in its second edition.