Monday, December 14, 2009

Making the Write Decision

I was hanging out at home the other night when I got a text message from my good buddy—and brand-new father—Mike Kunkel.

Mike sent me a text message that read:

“About time to update your BleacherReport profile, old man!!”

I giggled like a schoolgirl, as I’m wont to do, and went on with my evening.

It was a few hours later when I sat down at my computer and went to update my profile’s mini-thesis statement on BleacherReport that a big ole dose of reality bitch-slapped me right in the face.

My aforementioned mini-thesis statement reads: “I am a 26-year-old aspiring baseball writer.

I realized when I updated it from 25 to 26 that I’ve updated that little line four times. Four times, I’ve gone in and changed my age, but the goal remains the same.

That bothers me.

It bothers me so much that I went ahead and quit my job so that I could pursue a career as a baseball writer.

…okay, I didn’t quit my job. I’m not insane. It bothers me, but not enough to do something batshit crazy.

But it does bother me.

It bothers me because I know there have been long, long, long, long stretches of inactivity and blatant half-assedness.

It bothers me because I still have the exact same job that I did when I wrote that little line.

It bothers me because I’ve done absolutely nothing to reach the endgame of my mini-thesis statement.

After four different age changes, I’m still just an “aspiring” baseball writer.

I’ve applied for plenty of baseball jobs in my day. In the past two years or so I’ve applied to be the general manager of three different teams, the field manager of six different teams, the mascot of two teams, an equipment manager at various minor league levels and the professional level, dozens of random office jobs, and grounds crew jobs.

I’ve received offers for none of these positions.

What I haven’t applied for is a writing job.

Maybe I’m just intimidated because my writing background consists entirely of blogging and three years writing restaurant and movie reviews at my college newspaper.

Maybe I’m worried that I wouldn’t be able to consistently churn out good, worthwhile material on a full-time basis if it was required. It is so much easier to write about sports when you’re not required to do so by a deadline.

Maybe I’ve bought too much into the old school formula that you have to work your way up the ladder and I have no urge to write obituaries and school lunch menus for papers in Podunk, Idaho, and Goat's Fart, Montana, for the next five years to cut my teeth in the business.

Whatever the case may be, it pisses me off.

I’m a pretty spiffy writer.

I know the game as well as dang near anyone (save for Tony La Russa, my Pappy, Peter Gammons, and Willie Mays).

I absolutely love baseball and want nothing more than to actually get paid to talk and write about it.

As such, I’m officially laying down another goal for 2010.

I’ve already laid out my plan to purchase more books and, in theory, read more as a result. So here goes, another goal for the next year.

I’m going to start applying for baseball writing jobs. It doesn’t matter how incredibly out of my league the job is or how completely unqualified I am, if the job is available, I’m sending in my resume.

What the hell, right?!

Worst-case scenario, they say no. I think I can handle that.