Saturday, February 11, 2012

Out of Not That Terribly Great Silence

Oh boy. There are times in life when one -- in this case, "one" being me -- does not have the time to do basic things. Not basic like shower or shave; once a week for each, and I've managed to maintain that even during periods of high stress. But stuff like updating this blog after I write something was, for a little while, something I didn't feel like I had time to do. I was, and to a certain extent still am, pretty much typing all the time every day, which made the prospect of doing more of it, here or anywhere, pretty unappetizing. And then there was the next stage, or time in one's life or whatever, when it had been so very long since the last time I updated anything here that the idea of doing it grew daunting and huge and cf. above in re: pretty unappetizing.

And so here we are, on a Sunday. I'm in New Haven with my wife, doing laundry, and the website that I have not really mentioned at all on this my personal blog is now over two months old; if you count our November preview period, it's been something more like three months. That website is The Classical, this website right here. While the maintenance and development of and crafting of content for and frantic sporadic attempts to improve that website is certainly the greater part of the reason why I haven't been doing much at this one, it's also more than that. The successful Kickstarter campaign that funded the site was and remains one of the most thrilling and humbling moments of my professional life -- we asked the internet to help us do this thing with small donations, and we got those donations from people who wanted us to do it, and we did the thing.

At the same time, The Classical has been humbling in another way: the site doesn't work as well as we want it to just yet, and the pace of improvement -- and, to go back to why I haven't put so much as a link up here in months, the capacities of the editorial team to do the writing and editing we need to do on what amounts to our bathroom breaks and pre-sleep hours -- is frustrating. Not difficult to anticipate, but also and all the same unanticipated. It's difficult, and while I'm delighted and honored to do it, it is also difficult. Fitting all of that into a life that, due to my current prevailing rate of pay, already demands a huge amount of writing in order to pay the usual bills and such, is also difficult. It is worth it, thousandfold. I am happy to be doing it, and proud to be doing it. But it has occasioned a certain drawing back in other aspects of my life. So yeah, less time to put up dog videos here, or sleep, or leave my apartment, or other things of that nature. How very sad for me and us all, I know.

Besides the Classical stuff, I've been doing the usual NFL season stuff -- yakkin'-related football activities with the brilliant and delirious Jeff Johnson at GQ, the weekly "Mercy Rule" column at Vice, the usual Wall Street Journal-based extrusions, and a few other things I'm happy with. Foremost among these is this massive, goofy feature/listicle on the idea of High Bro Culture, from the Man of the Year issue of GQ. It's a masterpiece. Diddy knows what I'm talking about.

Thanks, Diddy!

Anyway, all of this is to say that I shouldn't be complaining, and am more or less not complaining except insofar as it's tough for me to explain this without being like "My arms and eyes hurt a lot." But also I shouldn't be complaining because I've done some writing I'm really proud of at The Classical. The first piece I wrote for The Classical, back in the November preview period and in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky implosion at Penn State, is as vicious as I could've hoped it to be, and I'm still proud of it. My essays on the weirdness of big-ticket high school sports and the sublime positivity of Bill Raftery and the ulcerous ulcerosity of the Belichick Patriots are all things I'm proud of, and I don't even know what this one is about, besides an elaborate expression of Yuletide exhaustion, but I like it pretty well, too.

And I'm even prouder about the stuff that I've had the privilege of editing, by writers I personally know and love and writers I know less well, and which I've gotten to help make better and in some cases help make great... it's worth it. It's worth it because we are putting very good writing on the site every day, and because whatever success I've had over the past year came because people gave me an opportunity and an online space on which to stretch out and grow and get better as a writer; if it weren't for Gerard at Can't Stop the Bleeding and Alex and Choire at The Awl and Stephen at gbNYC, I would be notably sadder and worse at writing. The opportunity to do the same service to other writers makes me glad and proud all over, always. So, yes, The Classical will continue to be worth it. But, yes, too, it takes up a lot of time that I used to use in different ways. Like maintaining my professional site, or putting up that picture of Diddy, which I've been wanting to get up here forever.

I'm going to update the right-hand column with some recent pieces of note, and I'm going to try to get in here more often, because I like it. Talk to you again in three or four months!

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