Heather Armstrong—AKA Dooce, of dooce.com—is a super blogger. She began blogging in 2001, got fired (and famous) for writing about work in 2002, and now gets over four million page views a month for her dispatches from Salt Lake City about her daughter, her Mormon fam, and whatever cute new thing she just bought. Ads on her site bring in something absurd like $40,000 a month. And now she has a book.
It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita is a memoir about Armstrong's first pregnancy and the months following, what with the baby, breakdown, and margarita. These years were documented on her blog, and the book offers no more insight than what longtime readers already know. This is a memoir of a mommy, not a blogger, and it's a shame; Armstrong's internet celebrity is the most fascinating part of her life, but except for an acknowledgment in the preface, she never mentions the blog. It's like if Lauren Conrad wrote a memoir and made no mention of The Hills.
Armstrong is living the new American dream: writing about the mundane on the internet and making bank from it. But this book shows that blog success doesn't necessarily mean literary success. Armstrong has a very distinct writing style that employs hyperbole, metaphor, and simile for every single thing she has ever described in the history of the planet—plus LOTS OF CAPITAL LETTERS. In short and pithy blog posts, these devices are novel and fun. But a whole book leads to caps-induced headaches and a longing for short and simple descriptions.
Personal blogs are a fix for procrastination junkies; they are the distraction. Without the addition of new insight or a broader view of what she's already covered, this ex-Mormon's punch line-infused, blow-by-blow description of her battle with pre- and postpartum depression doesn't hold up as the main show. But if Armstrong is as successful in print as she is on the net, she'll probably have another book in a few years. Here's hoping for fewer hyperbolic end-times descriptions of morning sickness, and more insight into her strange, 21st-century life. That will be a book worth reading. Until then, stick to the blog.