Dooce Talks HGTV With ParentDish

Filed under: In The News

Heather Armstrong

Dooce is headed to HGTV. Credit: Heather Armstrong

Heather B. Armstrong, known online as Dooce, is on a roll. Since she began blogging in 2001, traffic to her site has skyrocketed, leading to a New York Times bestseller and now... a TV deal.

We spoke with Armstrong about the new deal with HGTV. Although she couldn't tell us a lot about what she would be doing for the channel, she was forthcoming about everything else, including how she feels about folks who don't like her, why she's starting to write less about her kids and the fact that her TV work will not resemble that of a certain family of eight.

ParentDish: This must be pretty exciting.
Dooce: Yes. Yes it is. We sort of had to spend some time recovering.

PD: Tell me what you'll be doing on HGTV. How is it different from what's on your site?
Dooce: There's not a lot that I can talk about right now. Mixing online with offline. One of the main reasons that they've brought me on is the mom demographic that comes along with me. There's going to be a bit more of a vlogging component than I ever do on my own Web site.

PD: How did it feel to be named one of the 30 most influential women in media by Forbes?
Dooce: (laughs) Yeah, yeah. It is ridiculous, just because I don't have the credentials of Barbara Walters or Oprah Winfrey. I touch a small segment that they may not. Things are changing. I think I was in the right place at the right time. That combined with working my ass off. I don't know if people understand the work that goes into writing consistently for several years.

PD: Do you feel like you're always working?
Dooce: I am always, always, always working. I don't ever take a break. It's a bit of a marathon. It's a great lifestyle, I don't ever take a vacation. Like we went to Florida a year and a half ago and I published every day of it.

PD: As popular as you are, you also have your detractors.
Dooce: Oh yeah. There exists more than a couple of sites dedicated to calling me the most horrible person that ever lived.

PD: Was that hard to get used to?
Dooce: Yeah, that was ... I'm not Oprah. Why are you paying attention to me that way? I guess I look at it as static and noise going on. I choose to ignore it.

PD: Is it ever hard to ignore?
Dooce: What usually happens is I'll go 2-3 months without hearing anything about it and one of my readers will cut and paste [a negative comment from another site]. It's hard to avoid it because people are looking out for me. At the end of the day, they don't know who I am. I'm happily laughing my way to HGTV.

PD: Are you comfortable with putting everything out there?
Dooce: I come from a family that will tell you everything. It's always been my personality to be really honest and open. You can talk about the hate mail all day but that's nothing compared to the good that has come from doing this. [Some] people say [to me], thank God, you've helped me get through life.

PD: What about the kids? How do you feel about people knowing about their lives?
Dooce: I've started to write a lot less about my oldest daughter. [When she was younger] the story that I was telling about her was kind of a universal story of kids [and] parents. You know how the first 3 1/2 years you don't even remember? As she gets older and more individual, I really [only] write about 5 percent of what goes on their lives.

PD: Are you at all concerned about putting your family on TV, after what happened with Jon and Kate?
Dooce: This is not a Jon and Kate situation, let me say that.

Ms. Armstrong is scheduled to being appearing on HGTV in Spring of 2010. Her book, 'It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita', is available on Her Web site is updated daily.

Related: Are Drunk Moms the New Black?
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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.