5 Reasons I’m a Real Writer (that are not “I have a book coming out next year”)


I have been a real writer for a while now.

63485071How do I know?

  1. I write.
  2. I rewrite.
  3. I edit my rewrite.
  4. I allow other people (not my mom) to read it.
  5. In between each of these, I freak out, second-guess, hyperventilate, give up, start again, swear a lot, cry a little, and finally move on to the next step.

There’s this weird thing with writing—any art, I guess—where there are two stages of validation. The first, and most important, is acknowledging you have accomplished something amazing. When I put “the end” on my first (completed) novel, I knew that if I got hit by a bus the next day, it wouldn’t be with that big unchecked box on my life goals list. Selling the book was something different. Selling a book, seeing it published, getting reviews, possibly becoming a best-seller, or just selling more than 100 copies…these are all things completely out of my control. Anybody’s control, really.

But I finished it. And that’s all on me.

Not only did I finish the book, I rewrote it and edited it during a really really hard time in my life.

So, let me tell you. If you’ve finished something like a book, a novella, or even a short story, don’t let anyone ever tell you you’re not a “real” writer. When it comes to getting an agent, getting your book in front of an editor—the right editor for the book at the right time for the market—and that editor being able to then sell her bosses on it, there’s a good bit of luck involved. You can stack the deck with strategic submissions, raw talent, maybe some good connections, but so many things are out of your hands.

Everything but the work. That’s why you really have to love to write for the sake of writing, because it’s the only thing you can truly, totally control. (And you can, even if it feels some days like you can’t.)

But sometimes the stars do align, and the book that you’ve been working on forever finds a champion, finds a home, and finds it’s way onto the publication schedule of a New York publisher.

And even then stuff can happen. So you…okay, *I* don’t want to do anything to jinx it, like talk about my book too much while I’m working on it, or before it’s officially in the catalog. You don’t have to tell me that’s silly. I mean, I had plans. A splashy new webpage, and trumpets, and confetti, and maybe a parade.

But well, now No Good Deed is available for pre-order on Amazon.

So my fanfare is a bit haphazard.

That’s okay, though. I can’t control the day that my big secret book shows up on the Internets. And if it catches me a little flat-footed, that’s okay, too, because I’ve been doing the thing that I can control—writting another book.

The details about No Good Deed are on the “No Good Deed” page of this website (brilliant, right?) and you can pre-order it on Amazon via this link. I’ll post links to the other outlets as they become live.

And it comes out in hardcover on July 18, 2017.