Last month I was chatting with my boss at Yardbarker online when I accidentally misspelled “sporadically” as “sportadically” in my rush to describe something that was sporadically happening in sports and my first thought was, “What a great name for a sports-centric site that would only occasionally publish,” followed by my fingers quickly typing, “BRB registering sportadically.”
I’ve had my own name as a domain since 1999 (!) and at various times I’ve moved much of my sportswriting over there, off to another site with a domain I let lapse because no one could ever spell “tchotchkes” correctly, and then back on my vanity URL again. The problem always being, when I put sportswriting on my personal site it feels out of place and just as the joint fills up with sportswriting and I’m comfortable with it being there, all my other writing feels awkward amongst all the sports. This has led to various Tumblrs and such, but those are messy and unfortunately became more of a habitat for link dumps and Instagram photos of food, cocktails and my dearly missed dog.
And not to get too writer-y writer-y about it because this sort of internal dialogue when put on the outside is gross, ultimately I found myself in paralysis unable to type anything even as the words raced through my brain. Years have gone by like this, which is terrible, not wanting to discuss politics, books, movies, or losing my mother to cancer on my own site because I didn’t want mix it in with my sports voice (which is what I am better known for these days).
On the other side of it, feeling the pressure to write about sports aside of what you’re already creating freelancing for other sites has its own onerous yoke. Assigned pieces, pitching ideas and being asked to write on a particular topic; that’s the hustle, but sometimes you just want to write about whatever is amusing you on any particular day and you want to do it with more than a Tweet. (Like the above envisioning of what a full-sized Super Bowl snack stadium would look like on the land Rams owner Stan Kroenke bought around Hollywood Park.)
By saying that posts here will only happen sporadically and without any sort of schedule has been an incredible relief, sort of a safety valve to tell myself it’s okay not to write instead of the usual self-loathing that hits around 2 A.M. when swore to yourself you’d create that day even though you spent endless hours editing and giving notes to other writers. I have no problems turning down writing requests when other people ask me, I benched myself for spell after I left a gig I loved heartbroken, it’s always the failure to write just for writing that eats at my soul. It is impossible for us to be fair to ourselves.
So let’s try this out for a while. Cross-post a few pieces on Sportadically and on my namesake site until the training wheels come off.