Monday, November 08, 2004

A Heartbreaking Work of Sports?

Well folks, I have a writerly dilemma and I’m not sure what to do.

In the past few months I put my in-progress fiction novel on the back burner to focus on writing a non-fiction book. The original idea came from seeing so many “A season in (insert sport or team)” books at the local Borders, and the success of those books seemed like quite the dangling carrot. (Because, while I’d be quite happy to have a book published, I’d be happier if it was published and I actually got money for it.)

Originally, the book was going to be a chronicling of UGA’s 2004 season and national title run. But the Dawgs lost to Tennessee, and the national title run doesn’t quite involve them—however, I did have a decent amount of writing about following the Red Sox who just won the World Series, and the notion that there are quite a few parallels in the fanbases of the two teams. The book then became a chronicling of UGA and the Boston’s 2004 seasons—the expectations, the drama, the respective highs and lows.

But here’s the dilemma. To write about this, and its effect on fans, includes in many ways making the book part memoir: the question is how much of me should be in the book?

On one hand I can actually see part of this working: the triptych of passions and how it makes you do crazy things—for a Red Sox game, a Georgia game or a girl who’s a fan of both. But on the other hand, I think part of me’s uncomfortable with making public part of my personal life. So I put it to you, the few readers of this lil’ Blog: have you been in this situation, and what did you do? Or, what would you do in my place? (And if it helps by tomorrow I’ll have an excerpt up on the sports blog you can read).


ryan james wilson said...

I am, of course, fairly familiar with this conflict. As a poet, there is always the question of how much reality matters, how much of personal experience should be involved, etc. Off hand, I would say the book doesn't necessitate personal divulgence. Rather, I would say write what is true to the work. It need not be factual: most of my lies are much more true than my attempts to be honest. And who says this can't be fictional chronicles of some mythologized "Will?" Cheers.

Will Mosher said...

I figure what's going to happen is I'm gonna create a nice bastard offspring of Peter Gammons, Lewis Grizzard and Dave Eggers. Or at least that's the pitch to the potential agents/publishers.