Writing just to write – Graig Nettles

[If you’re a Yankees fan and know uniform numbers, you’ll understand the title of this post] If you’ve read my blog in the past, you know the drill with this post. I’m just writing with no clear theme or direction. Basically a stream of consciousness. Fun!]

Happy Sunday, everyone. Long time, no write. At least on this blog. I have written things at other places. Like on ESPN the other day! I know, can you believe it? Wait, it’s not hard to believe because I wrote four pieces for them in 2014. What is hard to believe is that the last time I wrote for ESPN was in July 2014 which means the last time I wrote for them, my dad was still alive. Crazy, right?

Anyway, I wrote about Michael Pineda and no one told me that I was an idiot in the comments so yay!

Isn’t it amazing? I am still so fearful that people are just going to skewer me after everything I write. When does that feeling go away? Does it ever go away?

Since the last time I wrote on this blog, I have joined Beyond the Box Score at SB Nation. Yes, I’m writing for an SB blog. It was one of my writing goals for the longest time and I finally made it happen. Next up: A passage in a book.

If I could only meet my life goals as well as I have been meeting my writing goals. Baby steps, I guess.

We also have a new cat in the house since the last time I posted. I know, another cat? She’s a gray tabby, she’s adorable and my brother named her Sweet Pea.

sweetpea

sweetpea2

sweetpea3

She’s a little Princess and she holds her against the other cats in the house. Speaking of the other cats, the kittens Lucy, Eddie and Gus turned seven months old at the end of February and they have gotten so big. Especially Gus. He’s a giant compared to Lucy. They have distinct personalities and I love them all.

My favorite thing is waking up in the morning and being greeted by all four of them in the hall. No, I don’t let them sleep with me, but that’s only because my room is a mess and they like getting into things and making noise. Once my room is cleaned out (sometime in 2019 or 2020) they’ll be allowed to sleep with me.

I’m taking a Twitter break this weekend but it’s more like I’m checking Twitter every once in a while but not tweeting. I’m so weak. One of these days I’ll take a proper break. I’m also shutting everything down by 10-10:30 at night and reading before bed. I’d like to read an hour, but I’m finding that I’m only lasting about 40-45 minutes I get sleepy. And I do get sleepy. It doesn’t take me very long to fall asleep. At least it hasn’t the past two nights. Let’s hope that trend continues for a while.

I need to get into the habit of going to bed before midnight so I can wake up early on weekdays. I need to feel like a functioning human again. Even if I don’t have a reason to wake up early, it’s better for my Bipolar Disorder if I have a regular sleep schedule.

Other things I need to do:

  • Stop drinking coffee. It is wrecking my insides.
  • Start moving. I’m becoming a fat ass again.
  • Clear out a space in my room so I have a place to write other than my bed.

Does anyone have a dumpster I can borrow? I need to clean my room. It’s actually worse than it was a couple of months ago when I removed like six bags of clothes. It’s amazing how much stuff I have. And I cannot clean it alone.

And I’m done. Ta.

La douleur exquise or Stacey’s life in three words

La douleur exquise is the story of my life. I always want what I can’t have, I never learn from my previous mistakes and I keep trying for the unattainable.

It happens in love, work, and friendship.

Sometimes, I feel like I don’t deserve anything. Like I don’t deserve to be happy. I don’t deserve to be loved by someone. I don’t deserve to be in a reciprocated relationship. I must always be the one in pain, the one who’s longing for someone they can’t have, who doesn’t want her back, who would never want her back.

My question is, how did this happen?

At what point in my life did I decide that I didn’t deserve love? Was the feeling always there? Has every decision I’ve made resulted from a little voice in my head telling me that I was never good enough? Did something happen when I was younger that I pushed to the inner recesses of my brain that I can’t recall? Have I been rejected so many times that I’ve given up trying?

Yep. That’s it.

I’ve simply given up. Every time I try, I’m rejected. Every time someone wants me, they’re already taken. Every time someone shows an interest in me, they discover the real me, and leave soon after.

Maybe I am destined to be alone. Some people just are. They live their life watching as their friends and family fall in love, get married, and have children. They become honorary aunts and uncles to their friends’ children. They sit home at night, listening to love songs, wondering why nothing has worked out for them. They watch TV shows and snarl at every couple because they’ll never have what they have – even the bickering couples.

Or maybe that’s just me.

And people will say that I have to go out and meet people or they’ll say, “You’re still young! You have plenty of time!” Do I really have plenty of time? I’m almost 42 years-old. I think my expiration date has come and gone.

At this point, if by some miracle, I do meet someone, fall in love, and heaven forbid, they actually love me back just as much, I’m too old to have a child. And what are the chances that I’d meet someone in my age range who’s never been married and who isn’t undesirable?

Oh God, that’s me.

I’m that person you always hear about. The weirdo who’s still single in their 40s. The person who wasn’t good enough for anyone in her 20s and 30s so why would she be good enough now?

Random thoughts: 1/9/16

It is time for my first random thoughts post of 2016. It has been a while since I’ve written one, but if you have been reading this blog for a while, or you just know how my brain works, you know what to expect.

Enjoy!

  • After feeling legitimately awful for the better part of two months, I finally feel more like myself. I’m not as hopeless as I was in December, which was a real low point. In fact, I may even be feeling a bit hopeful. Imagine that?
  • I have no idea what caused this sudden turnaround, and it’s possible that the holidays ending may have contributed to it, but I am not complaining. I will ride this wave of optimism for as long as I can without falling over or wiping out.
  • It would be so nice for me to have a good even year. The last good even year I had was 2000. I am way overdue. 2002? Meh. 2004? Bleh. 2006? Ugh. 2008? Ugh again. 2010? Almost ended it all. 2012? More meh. 2014? Fuck that year. So I really need 2016 to be a good one. Please?
  • I’m not even asking for much. I just want a year when my heart isn’t broken, I don’t have a breakdown, I don’t lose another longtime friendship, I don’t lose someone close to me and I don’t lose a cat.
  • I hope I didn’t jinx myself.
  • I love soccer. I have no idea why it took me so long to get into it, but I am glad I did. It’s a lot of fun.
  • Baseball needs to start soon. I’m a better baseball writer when it’s actually happening. I’m not one of those people who can come up with things to write about during the offseason that aren’t a look back in some way. That’s kind of bad, I know.
  • I am currently looking for writing gigs on Craigslist. I have done a lot of different types of writing the past five years and I think that variety could help me get a job. I’d prefer to work from home, but if I needed to go into the city for a job, I’d be all for it if I could write all day and be around other writers.
  • Of course, that’s a long shot. I’m old and the people going for the same jobs are nearly 20 years younger than me.
  • Wow, that’s depressing.
  • Good job, Stace.
  • Nope, I won’t be negative. I will be positive. Damn it.
  • My brother came home and interrupted my train of thought.
  • What was I talking about?
  • Oh yes, writing jobs.
  • I think it could be fun writing about something other than baseball. I need to challenge myself and I said I wanted to do that in 2016.
  • I may apply to three jobs for which I’m qualified and one I’m not, just to see what happens.
  • Knowing my luck I’ll be contacted about the job for which I have no qualifications because that’s my life.
  • My list of unfamiliar words is growing exponentially. Some of them are really fancy though and I’m not sure I can work them into anything I write. We’ll see.
  • But again, I do like a challenge.
  • Speaking of a challenge, I’m challenging myself to finish at least one of the manuscripts I started years ago. I’m leaning toward the one that’s over 73K words. The one that’s 30K words was started way back in 2003 and technology has changed so much that I would have to do a complete overhaul with a lot of the scenes. Or I could make it a nostalgia piece about the early aughts. We’ll see.
  • Remember answering machines? Remember what life was like before everyone had smartphones, iPads and iPods? It seems like it was 50 years ago.
  • I need subtitles when watching the Real Housewives of Cheshire. Their accents are so thick and they’re all speaking English! It’s amazing.
  • My brother offered to give me money so I can get a haircut. Isn’t that sweet? I haven’t had one since August 2014. A week before my dad went into the hospital.
  • I wanted to grow out my hair because the short hair reminds me of him dying. I know, that seems weird, but I can’t help it.
  • Maybe I’ll cut it short again in a few years.
  • Or maybe I’ll grow it down to my ass.
  • Kidding.
  • Or am I?
  • I’d really like to get my hair colored. The grays are out of control. I get it, I’ll be 42 on my next birthday, but come on, hair follicles! Why are you doing this to me?
  • I washed my dirty makeup brushes while I was watching Arsenal’s match this morning. I’m so good at multitasking.
  • Do you think I can mention that as an example of it in a job interview?
  • “Are you good at multi tasking?” “Why yes! I can wash makeup brushes and watch soccer at the same time!”
  • Maybe not.
  • There’s a lady on RHOC (Cheshire) who looks a look like Elizabeth Hurley.
  • And there’s another one who’s a cross between Leona Lewis and Scary Spice. What’s her real name again? Mel B.? Right?
  • Kat von D’s liquid lipstick in Lolita is the best shade ever. EVER. I need like 15 tubes of it.
  • I’ve always been a lipstick girl. People have always said that my lips are my best feature so I like to have something on them when I go out. That color made them look so good.
  • I remember one time in college, I was checking a book or three out out of the library and one of the women at the front desk said, “I love that lipstick color. What is it?” If I recall correctly, it was a Revlon lipstick, it was a shimmery shade of brown, and it may have had NY in the name. It was one of my go-to colors in 1995-96 when I wasn’t wearing red.
  • Red was my going out and getting drunk color. My suite mates used to call it “Fuck Me Red” lipstick which was hilarious because I was a virgin throughout college.
  • I was such a good girl at school. Plus, my suite mates hooked up enough that I could live vicariously through them.
  • Now I regret not hooking up more in college, but you live and learn. Oh well.

Happy Saturday!

On feeling like a fraud

[This post is not meant to elicit words of encouragement, and I am not fishing for compliments, I am simply laying out how I am feeling at the moment. And I’ll be honest, I haven’t been feeling well for over a month. In fact, I haven’t felt this bad in a long time, but, with that said, I am hopeful that this dreadful mood will pass.]

I feel like a fraud.

It says I am a writer in my Twitter bio, my mother proudly tells everyone that I am a writer when they ask what I do for a living, and I even have a link to my writing samples on this website, but how can I be a writer if I can’t write anymore?

“But you’re writing right now, Stacey!”

Yes, I am writing this post, but it’s just me complaining about how terrible I am at everything I attempt and that is easy for me to do. I’ve been doing it my whole adult life.

When you’re a writer, you (usually) write every day. Or at least a few times a week.

When you’re a writer, you (usually) can come up with subjects to write about.

When you’re a writer, you (usually) know how to put those ideas together to form a cohesive post or article.

And I can’t do any of that any more.

I try writing every day, but I usually trash it, or it’s fiction pieces that I’ve based on myself in which I write about how I wish my life had turned out. Pieces that will never see the light of day, or be shown to any other human being for fear of the deep belly laughs that will no doubt emanate from their bodies once they’ve read three or four lines.

I also can’t come up with things to write about, and if I do, I usually psyche myself out and I convince myself that I have absolutely chance of turning those ideas into a good post or article. I’ll read what other people write and think, “I could never do that.”

I have been trying to write a piece for The Hardball Times for over a month now and it’s still a work in progress. I’ve written more than half of it, but I can’t bring myself to finish it yet. Is it fear? Partly. But it’s not a fear of rejection, or a fear that the audience, or, more to the point, my editor won’t like it. It’s actually a subject that other people would say is right in my wheelhouse, when my addled brain isn’t giving me fits, and yet, I am afraid I can’t do the subject justice.

I read other people’s work all the time, and instead of encouraging me, I feel awful afterward. And when those same people, who write these intricate tales, riveting accounts, and brilliant columns are lumped into the same group as me, I feel terrible for them because their writing is usually head and shoulders above mine.

And you may think those tweets, where my name is included among a bunch of really talented baseball bloggers, and it’s recommended that people read our work make me feel good, but they don’t.

They make me feel like a fraud.

This past week my work was put into a collection of pieces written by women sports writers and the pieces on the list were amazing. You had investigative pieces, personal essays, and then you had my piece which was okay, I guess. And to make matters worse, the people I am with in that list have advanced degrees like their Master’s or PhD. They have majored in history or literature, or both! They are former lawyers. They are currently in grad school. They are currently journalism majors. They are published authors. They are currently employed by magazines and major sports websites. Meanwhile I barely graduated high school, and on most days, still can’t believe I actually graduated college and earned a Bachelor’s.

The amusing thing is, I submitted some pieces into the list just because a lot of other people I know where doing it and I thought, “Why the hell not?” But once it was published, and I saw the other pieces, I felt sick to my stomach. I felt inadequate. I felt like a fraud.

If I were truly a sportswriter, I would be able to write all the time about a myriad of subjects. I’d be able to write a quick blurb when there’s breaking news, or write a column about how I feel when certain transactions are made. I would be able to effortlessly research, outline, and then churn out something at least once a week, maybe more, but I just can’t do it, and I don’t think I ever really could.

And that’s why I feel like a fraud.

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