Does anyone wonder where I’ve been? Am I being self-aggrandizing to think that anyone cares when I write a blog post? That people might notice when I’m not commenting on their blog? When I go missing for what, two weeks?
I just passed my five-year anniversary as a blogger. If you’re astute, you might look at my sidebar and say “Whoa, that’s not right. You started in November 2015.” Well I have another blog, it’s called Undercrust. My first post was published in 2013.
Undercrust is a big secret. Well it was when I wrote it, but it’s not any more. Still, there’s almost nothing written there that will tell you who I am. Only my last post, which gives the URL to this site.
I wrote it anonymously because I thought my world would collapse if anyone ever found out about my past drug use. Or alcohol abuse. Or that I have Tourette Syndrome. Or Anxiety. Or OCD. That I don’t blindly love my country. Or worship our flag. These are the topics I explored on Undercrust.
This seems quaint to me now. I outed myself in 2016 with my memoir, Fragments. I took the best posts from Undercrust and assembled them into a book. If I was going to review my book, I’d say pretty good. I’m a better writer now, but I was a better story-teller then. And that’s what this book does, it tells a story.
Self-publishing is a rough way to earn money. I make about $2.50 per sale. I expected that after the initial rush, earning me ten thousand dollars, Fragments would settle into a steady flow of a couple thousand dollars in royalties per year. In actuality, I’d be astonished if I’ve sold more than a hundred twenty-five copies. I check my sales stats way too often (every day) and when I get a sale, I shout out “Hey, I sold a book!” This happens once every couple of months.
I now know I’m never going to get rich selling a self-published book. My brother actually sold a publishing-house published book, and while I’ve never asked him directly about his earnings, I’m not under the impression that he’s getting rich either. Now, when I sell a book, what I think is “Hey, someone’s reading my writing!” Which is definitely more important to me than $2.50.
Many bloggers have their website linked to a Patreon account—a site where readers can set up a recurring monthly payment as a monetary thank you to their favorite blogger. Some sites have a Paypal link where you can leave a tip. I have a link that says: Like my blog? Buy my book. But what I really think is that I should be paying you to read this blog, because being read is an honor.
The real purpose of this post is to introduce my forthcoming book BADASS – My Quest to Become a Back-woods Trail-runner (and other obsessive goals)—an ebook available soon on Amazon. This is where I’ve been for the past few weeks. Working nightly on assembling a book. Twenty-seven essays, thirty-two thousand words. And all about running. I’ve taken five-years of stories and arranged them into a narrative about my growth as a runner. Another memoir? Sure. But not as deep. This book will only work for people who want to read about a runner. Specifically, me. How self-aggrandizing that?
BADASS should be finished in the next month or so, and because I want people to read it, BADASS is going to be free. Reading the book will be doing me a favor, and I don’t want to charge people for that. And while I’m looking for favors…I’d like to find a few proofreaders willing to give BADASS a spin ahead of publication. It’s a pretty simple task. I’ll email you a word document. Just make comments and corrections as you read through the book: Did I leave something out? How’s my spelling? Is a section boring or confusing? Make a note.
But don’t do it to get a free book, because it’s going to be free anyway once it’s published.
So please, if you’re willing to give BADASS a read and give me some feedback, I’d love to have your help. Leave a note in the comments, or use my contact form to connect. But I’m not kidding, the book is about running and me as a runner. Every story. So weigh that factor before you volunteer.
~ ~ ~
Note: The following paragraph from this essay illustrates just how important my journey as a writer has been. In five years I’ve transformed from a closeted everything into and advocate for substance abuse, mental illness and democratic thinking.
Undercrust is a big secret… I wrote it anonymously because I thought my world would collapse if anyone ever found out about my past drug use. Or alcohol abuse. Or that I have Tourette Syndrome. Or Anxiety. Or OCD. That I don’t blindly love my country. Or worship our flag. These are the topics I explored on Undercrust.