Here it is, everyone! The Amazon Kindle version of “Blood, Sweat, and Butter” is available NOW! Thank you so much to everyone who pre-ordered!
As I’m typing this, I’m sitting on my deck in Portland, Oregon- about as far from home as I figured I’d ever get that wasn’t vacation. The afternoon sun is casting sharp shadows of the trees, and a glass of grog is sweating on the armrest of my chair.
I’m a complete mess. Sort of.
Off the Bucket List
Back when I was a kid, my parents bought me this kit for my birthday. You wrote a story on their special pages, drew your illustrations inside the rectangle, and then your folks wrote a check and sent it out. After a few weeks, you got your story in the mail- bound up in a book.
I can’t remember what it was called, but there is at least one company that still sells something like it if you are interested in it for your kids.
I think my story was about an enchanted toaster? Well if my folks ever find it, they could put it up on eBay. Since I’m a *PUBLISHED AUTHOR* now, that might count as a limited release first edition.
Anyway, the point is that that’s when I decided I wanted to write a book for real one day. In college, I assembled an anthology of my poetry called “The Third Side of a Coin”- a 50-page monster of what I considered my “best work.”
Oh yeah, #deepcuts today folks.
It always seemed like such a monumental goal for me- finding a publisher, convincing them my words were worth a crap, editing hell… I figured it would take me forever.
In a way, self-publishing through Kindle was the best AND worst thing I could have done.
After years of thinking and dreaming, the total time it took to create and publish my first book- from the first word typed in a cafe in Portland to today- was about a year. And that was only writing sporadically.
“Where’s the Kaboom? There was supposed to be an Earth-shattering Kaboom!”
I’m not done. In a video on my Facebook page, I mentioned that I’m working on three other books on
- Time Management and Logistics
- Mentoring in the Kitchen
- My “magnum opus” on food philosophy.
Now that this book is out there for the world, I can go back to focusing on them.
I suppose I just feel like there would be… more to it?
It’s hard to explain, but it feels mildly disappointing when a goal of a lifetime is accomplished… quietly. The day I accomplished my dream, a computer somewhere in the world checked a box, and I spent my day making eclairs and baking croissants at work.
The other day, I expressed this to Emily- how it was so much… easier than I’d built it up to be. At that point, Em looked at me over the top of her glasses.
“Sweetie, would you like me to count how many terms I heard you screaming and cursing at your computer because something wasn’t going right?”
Have I mentioned how much I love my wife?
The Gatekeepers Are Asleep
Just because something turned out to be easier than you thought shouldn’t make it any less rewarding to you. Thanks to social media and self-publishing, the marathon I thought I’d have to drag myself through proved to be an 8-month sprint. All the issues and difficulties I thought I’d need to test my work against turned out to be paper tigers.
There were challenges, to be sure- there usually are in one way or another- but they were lessened, or I figured them out, or I asked for help and received it from every quarter.
This was perhaps a bit of a self-indulgent post, but if I have learned anything from the experience of writing and publishing my first book- I’ll share that with you here.
- The gatekeepers are asleep. It has never been easier to create something and put it out in front of the world. Anyone can have a website, start a business, start a podcast, write a book, make music, make movies… and give it to the world. You don’t need anyone’s permission to start- so don’t wait.
- If you don’t think you have any ideas worth making, you’re wrong. Your story just seems boring to you because you’re busy living it. Do you know what the most popular subject matter is on YouTube right now? Video blogs. People are fascinated to learn how others live. You have a story to tell, and the world is waiting to hear it.
- JUST. F***ING. START. After hemming and hawing for a while over writing a shorter book than my magnum opus, I was chatting with my friend Madeline while she was working in a coffee shop. I talked about my idea for an exercise book, and she said “Huh… cool! When are you going to start?” I thought about it for a hot second… and sat down and wrote the introduction.
And yes… it might suck. Your first book, your first video, your first whatever will not be as great as you imagined.
In their new podcast “Start With This“, Night Vale creators Joseph Fink and Jeffery Cranor address this with a couple thought-provoking statements:
- No work, or piece of art you enjoy today, is as good as it’s creator dreamed it would be. In your imagination, it CAN be perfect… but you need to make it real to share it with others.
- Your first whatever will probably suck, but your 600th will be awesome! You just have to do #1 through #599 first.
So… #1 is done, and out there ready for you to enjoy!
What about you?
What creation or project are you dragging your feet over?
Why… and what can you do right now to get started?