I am officially in the tortured stage of my book.

This is where I lose my mind, hate myself, kick and scream, play lots and lots of XBox, wish I worked in finance, hug my kids, avoid my kids, come into the city for long days in the corner of a coffee shop. Right now, I’m, literally, spending a long day in the corner of a coffee shop. There is a man at a nearby table, wearing Abraham Lincoln’s hat while barking into his cell phone. His must be eliminated.

Wherever I go, 8,000 pounds of notes follow. This is the best book I’ve ever written. This is the worst book I’ve ever written. Never again! When can I start again? I’m gonna avoid Twitter for two hours. I’m gonna Tweet right now. I’m the luckiest guy in the world. My existence is one of horrible misfortune and angst.

There are moments when the words flow and the joy is palpable. There are moments when everything I write blows big chunks of suckage. My deadline is March 1. I’ll be OK. I’m fucked. I’ll be OK. I’m fucked. I’ll be OK. I’m fucked. I’ll be OK.

I’m fucked.

Up. In the head. Back when I was covering the Majors for Sports Illustrated, it was all so easy. Go to a city, interview some players, write 2,000 words. Ah, what I wouldn’t give for 2,000 words. Instead of the 180,000 I’m drowning in. What I wouldn’t give, at this moment, for a job at the McDonald’s window, dishing out burgers and fries without a care in the world.

I am a beaten man.

But, check back in an hour.

I’ll surely be quite happy.