July 6, 2010
Excused Absence

I’ve decided there’s worse things than getting sued.

In fact, being right and being true to who you are is much more important than any threat. It may come to a point where I change my Twitter @name, but now’s not that point. I’m “injuryexpert” or “theinjuryexpert” on nearly everything, an identity I’ve used for years and a title that I’ve hopefully deserved. I’m keeping it until someone makes me (or until I get an offer that compensates me for changing.) 

I’ve had a lot of time to think about things like that and for that I’m lucky. I spent the last week sitting on a beach south of Cancun

In that time of thinking and drinking, I decided I’d come back to Twitter regardless, but to do it in order to tell you new things, so here’s the things:

1. I’m writing a novel. It’s got nothing to do with baseball … at all … but I started UTK rather than write a novel that was going to be about baseball. (I swear, someday I’m going to write that story because I like the idea so much.) I’m about ten thousand words into it, which is nothing in the grand scheme. It’s enough to know who the characters are (or are going to be) and generally where the storyline is headed. I think you’ll like it … wait, no. I have no idea if you’ll like it and frankly don’t care. The idea has commercial potential, but this is a book I want to write. If it’s nothing more than that, well, so be it. 

1a. I have this idea to write it in full view. By that, I mean the tools are available so that I could post it so that people could read it more or less in real time. They could read along as I’m writing, offering their critiques and tips. I’m not sure how many people would like that - I know I’d be a bit frustrated if I started reading a book and the ending wasn’t there, in fact, didn’t exist yet. (I finished Stieg Larsson’s Milennium trilogy while in Mexico. I stayed up reading until 3am one night because of how much he’d made me care about the outcome over three books.) It’s an interesting experiment and if I can figure out how to do it, I’m going to. I already have enough to be the equivalent of a Kindle or iBooks sample, which is what a lot of people base their purchase decision on. It wouldn’t be free, just available. I figure half the cost of a Kindle book would be the right point, if the idea works at all. If you have ideas, email me.

2. There was a (2) here, but after touching base with a couple people I trust, I’m pulling it out. For now. It may come back in. Soon.

3. I said a couple months ago that I wouldn’t be doing football this year. That was in large part because I feel like my content has value. This is what I do for a living and forgive the hubris, but I think I’m the best at it. It took a long time, but I’ve worked out a deal to do it again this year. It’s burying the lede just a bit, but I’ll be writing at SI.com two and a half times a week. Yes, 2 1/2. There will be a mid-week column and a weekend column, plus some form of updates on Sunday morning (and during the week.) Working out exactly how that will work is still in process. I have my ideas about how it could and should work while SI has theirs. We’ll figure it out. Some of that will be on Twitter, I think. We’ll see, but the biggest part of it is in place now and I’m very happy to be back there.

3a. To me, Sports Illustrated remains the destination for sports writing. The team of writers they have, especially on the NFL side, is unmatched. I make no secret of my hero worship of Peter King and I’m unbelievably excited to be on the same site as him. Being there with Don Banks and the rest — or even in the same universe as S.L. Price — makes me feel very lucky.

4. Oh, and I’m kind of outing my blog too, eh? There are times when I’ve really, really been constrained by Twitter’s 140 and wanted to do something more … well, like this. So I am. Read it, don’t read it, doesn’t bother me. 

I was going to wait until Friday for this, but there it is. Waiting’s out, action is in. That’s me, today. I’m 40 now, having had my I’m-a-man birthday while on the beach. As a friend often says to me, I need to go back to being Will F**king Carroll, the guy who was a “force of nature.” I didn’t think I’d changed that much during the last eight years, but maybe I have. I’m often angry, petty, grudge-holding, arrogant, and probably several other things I wouldn’t want to be, but this is who I am. In The Wooden Sea, Jonathan Carroll wrote “Was that strutting punk back at the house really me, or had we only lived in the same body, like an apartment, at different times?” It’s time to follow Hunter S. Thompson’s advice: “Buy the ticket, take the ride.”

  1. willcarroll posted this