My anti-validation lie
I started typing this to make the cursor stop blinking. Blinking cursors don’t normally intimidate me as I always have something to say, but on the occasions when I have to “promote” myself they’re somehow judgier.
It makes sense on some level. I’m always confident about what I think (even when I’m wrong). When I’m telling a story, I’m always confident that it will be worth reading (to someone). Stories about my work, though, always feel too contrived.
Like most writers Nevermind. I’ll leave it there and get to the point: Dragged Into the Light won a silver medal for True Crime in the Independent Publisher Book Awards. It’s a big deal and I’m not going to lie, I had no idea how desperately I needed to win it.
I also had no idea I was nominated, so at least there wasn’t any pressure along those lines. Ron Sauder at Secant Publishing entered it in the contest. The fact that he even bothered was gratifying.
I wrote a few weeks ago that I was getting stuck, that the idea of striking out to write another book daunted me. I enjoy the writing and even the rewriting can be pleasurable, but then I have to stop telling other people’s stories and start telling my own as a way to get people to buy the book. It just hasn’t been my strong suit.
I’d pretty much bottomed out the day Ron called to tell me that he entered the book and that it won. When people like me say they don’t need validation I think what they mean is they don’t know when they need validation.
As it turns out, I need validation precisely ten minutes after realizing that no one will ever care about my stupid book or anything I ever write. It was a tough lesson for someone who thinks of himself as above writing that previous, sniveling, emo sentence to learn, but I was so grateful to learn it.
I’m grateful for the recognition, grateful for Ron continuing to believe the book is worth reading, and grateful for you guys who open this email every week.
I also want to congratulate Ron on the other two winners he published last year, The Henry Bagwell Story: English Adventurer, Virginia Planter 1589-1663 by Margaret A. Rice and The Year's Best Dog Stories 2021, an anthology of local authors Ron edited.
As a kind of celebration (and also something of a promotion) I’ve included the beginning of my audiobook. It’s the introduction, chapter one, and chapter two. If you like it, feel free to share it. It’s on Audible if you happen to subscribe to that.
And of course and as always, the book version is available most everywhere you get books (it’s on backorder on Bookshop.org, so the link above is an Amazon link). If you’re anti-Amazon it’s also available from the publisher.
Keep the Faith,
I think it’s bonkers to go on Twitter to complain about all the maniacs on Twitter. I don’t blame you if you’re all Elon Musked out, but I wanted to share this column because it is solid and insightful.
We always knew that rich people don’t have the same rules as non-rich people. I think what’s driving us nuts is that they’ve stopped pretending that wasn’t the case. I’ll have more on this next week.