Sunday, November 11, 2012

It's Real Out Here

I just never do this anymore, I guess. This is easy enough to explain, as I'm writing as hard and as fast as I can all the time, but also impossible to guess from the site I made explicitly to put all that writing in one place, and which I haven't updated since Week 15 of the 2010 NFL season. If you were reading this site as your sole source of football news, you'd have no idea that the Cincinnati Bengals did indeed win the Super Bowl last season in what's still known, even all this time later, as The Bernard Scott Game. That would be terrible for you, not to know that. I'd be so sorry if that were the case.

Anyway, I haven't written here not because I don't like it -- I do, I like writing and I like writing about myself -- but because I've been writing and editing too much elsewhere to do much else. The editing is all for The Classical, which continues to be the cause and solution of all my disillusionment about writing words on the internet; our NBA preview, which is not really a preview at all now that the league is back and once again being bent to the iron wills of Kyle Lowry and Andrei Kirilenko, is called Why We Watch, and it takes up a lot of my time, and I love it and am proud of it. In recent weeks, I've done some meme-ing and some actual writing there, too, although the balance of my time has been devoted to learning on the fly how not to edit like a total bigfooted, ham-fisted doof.

The other writing is in the usual places, and not at some of the old usual places; I haven't written for The Awl in too long, which bums me out because I love that site and the people who edit and read it, but is easy enough to understand in that I've been trying to get paid for my writing, and that the current rates I get for my writing require me to do it as much as possible so that all the $75 and $150 and $250 paydays add up to the right amount at the end of the month. I've been able to do that, to a decent extent, at GQ and and Sports on Earth and The Daily Beast, among other places, of late. I wrote two things for New York Magazine that were fun, one of them about longtime hero-antagonist Guy Fieri as a literary figure, and one about a thing I actually love, which is tomatoes from New Jersey. There's always the Wall Street Journal and there have been some highlights at Vice, which continues to let me do writing I care about, like this and this and this. This bit, which I wrote for the excellent Capital New York site about Bruce Springsteen and Chris Christie, is one of my favorites. I've been busy, which is good because the alternative is being stressed out and not being able to pay rent, whereas the present is more about being stressed and being able to pay rent.

You might have noticed the constant, above. Which is, I suppose, the freelancer's lot, especially when the weekly bedrock gigs pay as little as mine do; the rest of it, the stuff that makes things like going out to dinner on occasion and being able to pay for cable possible, is all on me to find, pitch and write. That's exhausting and often disheartening, it shrinks each week down to a sum of billed work at its end, and it does do a lot to take the fun out of this thing I love so well. It makes it difficult for me to write for free, for instance, or even to do the basic professional maintenance that'd be wise to do here, because I am already writing as many words as I can each week, so that I will make enough money to live. But it is also exactly what it is, which is something I knew about, and the state of the industry, and the state of a lot of industries and as such something probably best addressed in a bigger context than My Anxious Life, at a blog with my name in the URL.

So, it's all good, mostly. I'm still up against it financially more often than I'd like, and there are a lot of things I'd like to write or do that I just can't, for various stubborn and stubbornly tangible reasons. But I'm writing stuff I care about, and some of it is good, and all of it is better than the alternative. You've no doubt learned, over these months of me not doing much of anything here, either to look for my writing on your own, or look elsewhere for your meat similes and free-associative politi-sportswriting. I'm still here, though. I'm working a lot. But I'm still here, and I appreciate you being here, too. None of this would make even the modicum of sense it does if I didn't think you -- or somebody -- might want to read it.