I’ve been thinking about your phone call last week, about the unnamed feeling you felt. Now, I can’t possibly know what you’re thinking about your book, but here’s what I’m thinking about my book. I’m terrified to put it on sale and have people read it. Terrified. Why? Because on that day the dream ends. I think I told you about my next book, Eight Acres, and that I have always had a problem of fantasizing about the future rather than living in the now. After talking with you the other morning at the Egg and I (and even before then) I’ve been sustained by the dream that The Divorce and Doom of Simon Pastor will really take root. That it will go viral. That men (and their women) will write me to thank me for being the vulnerable one and sharing my experiences with such daring. And oh yes, radio shows. Probably even television will be in the mix, to be honest. And more than that, the dream has included that I won’t have to get a real job again. Because I can’t stand working.
But the day I list the book on Amazon, the dream ends. In its place will be only one simple reality–it won’t sell. Unlike the book version of this blog, Simon Pastor may sell 50 copies or so to family and friends and random blog followers because it is new material. But it won’t go viral. It won’t “put me on the scene”. It won’t prevent me from having to endure a real job again. It might, of course, but it won’t. No, it actually doesn’t even have a might. It just won’t. Make no mistake, I needed to write this book. I needed to write it like I need my next breath. And I need to write my blogs. But that’s a far cry from it selling. I’m beginning Eight Acres this weekend and will likely have it complete before February. But then the money starts running out. The dream will end. And I’ll be putting to test my resolve at being kind to my ex-wife as my new job’s schedule will likely act as a catalyst to backsliding into anger and hurt.
I am happy though. Really happy. I don’t regret anything and I wouldn’t change a thing about how I lived my life since taking the oil rig job. 33 is a big year for me. Laughing, I told George the other day that only after having finished this book did I remember that I predicted back in church camp years ago that 33 was when I’d start my calling. Ha. Everyone else always acted like it was in/around college that they would begin their calling. Well, at 18 I said that I felt mine would begin at 33 because that’s how old Jesus was (give or take) when they killed him. Immature, misguided, morbid, delusional, but true nonetheless. And you can bet I never imagined my calling would be a book centered on divorce. Suffice it to say, I can’t wait to hit 34 and laugh at my prophetic abilities. Either way, I’m certain that no matter what it is going to be a helluva lot of fun.
Okay. Sell your book. Give it away. Get people reading it. And on to the next one.
PS – James Hetfield of Metallica said, “Music is my therapy. I need to do it.” I’m not sure that’s exactly where you’re at with writing, but I think you can see the value in his honest admission. With this book, I am certain now that money has nothing to do with the fact that I need to write.