This blog is not FDA approved
As longtime readers of my work are no doubt aware, I have a single goal that has dominated my waking life and haunted my dreams.
I want, no, scratch that, I need to “make it” as a writer. To be brutally honest, I truly don’t know where this mission originally sprang from, but at times I become a man possessed by his demons. And make mistake, friends, the quest for fame and fortune does not originate from Heaven, but rather the darkest corners of you-know-where.
I still remember the day a colleague confessed that Neil Pasricha, author of the smash-hit series, The Book of Awesome, was a longtime friend. With only a passing familiarity to guide me, I decided to Google Mr. Pasricha’s work, only to discover that blog posts about snow days and bakery air can generate tens of millions of hits and can be successfully translated into a book series that sells millions of copies worldwide. My reaction was a simple one.
“I can do that.”
I was so full of it.
Once I began to return to terra firma, the task of actually crafting a blog became more than a little intimidating. What the heck was I going to write about? Posts about the healing power of bubble wrap were already being churned out by someone else and besides, I’m not a warm, fuzzy kind of guy.
Fortunately, the answer appeared in the form of yet another crazy hotel guest. I had my foundation and so I became “The Hook” and You’ve Been Hooked! was born. I soon realized I could be the “Anti-Awesome” guy and so I started The Book of Terrible blog.
I was on my way.
But my wife soon asked the all-important question, “Why a blog? Why does this mean so much to you?”
Why, indeed? Why are some of us obsessed with being a “star”? And what does it even mean to be one? Are The Kardashians better than the rest of us simply because millions of people know who they are?
But I wasn’t asking those questions of myself back then. Instead, I showed her a copy of The Book of Awesome I had checked out from the library. There was no way I was going to give my money to “the competition”. This was the first sign that my personality was changing, and not for the better.
“Just look at some of these entries,” I’d say, “Some of them are twenty words! And he’s sold millions of copies! Maybe I can do the same thing and we can stop worrying about our retirement or Sarah’s college fund.”
And so I set off to work, writing posts, and eventually, writing a book. I’d immerse myself in my work, sometimes to the detriment of my role as a husband and father. It didn’t help that my work space was the kitchen table; I found it difficult to write the next Great Canadian Novel while my wife was cooking a pot roast or my daughter wanted to chat about the latest episode of Glee.
At times, I was a moody, over-ambitious tyrant whose work was all-consuming. At times, I still am.
My fourteen-year-old daughter is a brilliant writer who has already crafted an entire fictional series that blows away anything I’ve ever written. She asks me for help but I always seem to be too busy to devote an extended period of time to helping her. “We’ll work on it soon. I’m just too busy right now.”
But it’s not me talking, although I recognize the man speaking those words. He’s the same guy who is jealous of the following Le Clown has amassed in short order.
He’s the man who wishes he had a tenth of the inherent talent of young Becca Cord.
He’s the guy who stares back at me when I look in the mirror some days. He sits beside me as I drive my writing career forward.
The trick is to make sure I don’t let him take the wheel.