Monday, November 03, 2014

Blocked Writers (As Opposed to Writer's Block)

I used this for no particular reason. I just wanted to.
I'm bummed that this has been the worst year in the albeit brief (8-plus years) history of our little gathering spot here.

To be honest, I've been guarded for some time, and that doesn't help things.

There's nothing worse for a writer than to feel like he or she is held back, yet there are writers - incredible writers - who get bogged down for one reason or another. It could be due to the scrutiny on each word, or that those same words can be over analyzed or, worse, used against you in ways too creepy to expand upon.

Of course, there are also just so many hours in the day and, believe it or not, I'm a fan of occasionally sleeping.

There are writers who amaze me and inspire me, as well as intimidate me. They are my Hersam Acorn coworkers, a few of whom read this site. At least, maybe.

My time at the Wilton Bulletin was wonderful. I learned things. I learned what I liked and disliked about reporting. I also learned that I'm not in the same stratosphere as those writers/reporters.

Could I write some sports? Sure. Could I have become a sports editor? I simply don't know. Yes, I liked writing features, and would have loved to have done a column. Why do you think I'm still writing here?

Seriously, I panic with each instant message, email, and text I send my colleagues, for fear of the grammatical and spelling errors. Therefore, you can only imagine how I feel about writing a blog, be it here or over at

Some of them are crazy-talented. They write horror stories and investigative pieces. They edit professionally and are "grammar snobs" (their words). Hell, some of them LIVE to pick other writers apart, often to boost their own ego as they aim to rule the world's web hits.

Sort of like picking apart other play-by-play broadcasters, but I digress.

I admire people who survive. Those who work their asses off to put brilliant work out. Quality, not quantity. Perhaps you know the names (just go look at the bylines and staff lists of Hersam Acorn). I admire those who aren't driven by statistics, but just want to put out a great product. Those who strive for words. Those who are brilliant reporters.

I was chatting with a friend one day who said he wanted to sit in a local watering hole and take notes all day. Then he would take those notes and turn them into a great story. I don't doubt it. I'd love to read it and be a part of that process.

These people inspire me. Big time. They work their sources, write their stories, and have a conscience. It took a lot for one editor to essentially endorse "none of the above" for election day. The crap from readers was incredibly borderline-insulting; thus is the entitlement of some of these towns we cover.

I don't want to feel held back about my writing. I remember a stretch a few years ago where I felt that, and I didn't like it. Those of you who do read this do so for a reason. I don't think you do it because I'm a train wreck that you can't look away from. You're legitimately supporting a friend, or, GASP, you like the writing.

I should embrace that confidently yet, if you know me, I can't.

If you know me, you know the torment that each broadcast brings me, and that's the one place where I do feel a certain sense of confidence.


Anyway, I'm rambling. The point is, whether it's my HAN peeps such as Paul Silverfarb, John Kovach, Susan Shultz, Christopher Burns, Kaitlin Bradshaw, Kait Shea, Kate Czaplinski, Donald Eng, Aaron Marsh (I can't name everyone), former colleagues like James Passeri or the late Susan Wolf, or writers that I've chatted with such as Jeff Pearlman, Jonathan Eig, Curt Smith, Mike Vaccaro, or Joe Posnanski, I really dig what you all do.

And the fear of any of you reading intimidates the hell out of me.

At the same time, if you're Jon Field, Harold, Mick from LawnGuyland, Lisa Slocum, or my mom, I still worry what you think.

In short, I worry what you all think, even when I shouldn't. Do I worry about the opinions, or the content? Not always. Sometimes.

Sure, I want people to read. Sure, I want hits. I just always assume, like my broadcasting, that nobody is really paying attention.

Then I reach the end of this post and wonder if I should just hit delete because it was sort of worthless.

"He's the radio guy because he sucked as a reporter."


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