JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

The Big Slog

Photo on 2010-07-02 at 11.03

Today is about my 450th-straight day of working on this book, and I’m sloggin’ big time.

People ask, ‘What’s the hardest part of writing a book?’ To me, it’s an easy answer: Fatigue.

When I used to write features for Sports Illustrated, it’d be Scott Rolen one week, Jim Edmonds the next, Gary Sheffield after that. I’d bounce around … see different people. The routine kept me fresh, even if the subject matter started to numb me a bit. There were always new people to see, different faces to look forward to. Etc.

Now, I love writing books. Absolutely love it. But—and this is a BIG but—there inevitably comes a stretch when the last thing you want to think about is the subject matter; where you’ve maxed out on interest, and you just want to find the nearest ocean and jump in. I’m gonna soldier on today, but I’m a bit battered. A bit worn.

Location also matters—and I desperately need some new locations. Right now, I rotate between a bunch of places. Today, I’m in Starbucks. Yesterday it was the Larchmont Public Library. Two days ago it was the Atlanta Bread Company in White Plains. I try and keep the scenery fresh, but after a while they all get old. The coffee drinks are overpriced, the tables wobble, the people shouting into cell phones irk. I was writing late nights at the Mirage Diner, but lately I’ve been really tired come midnight.

I’m whining. I know. It’s a great job, and I’m blessed to be able to writing books for a living. But I need a vacation—asap.