An email arrived in my inbox, it was from a guy I worked with at the job I had 13 years ago, back before I became a stay-at-home dad. He was writing to tell me that he pre-ordered my book and wished me success with my writing. His note was wonderful and it opened my eyes to an aspect of the process that I didn't give much thought to, people were going to buy my book and read it. Obviously, that is the hope, but I just imagined that my mom would buy a copy, maybe my brothers. It was difficult to consider any success beyond that.
It felt strange when I read his email. My friend went online, clicked on a few buttons and just like that, bought a book that I wrote. Everything about that thought freaked me out. I felt very responsible all of the sudden because he spent his money on something that I created. I was overwhelmed by his words, they warmed my heart.
Since that day others have ordered, I get really nice tweets, FaceBook messages and other notes from a lot of you saying how excited you are for the book to arrive. The book even charted in the US and Canada as a pre-order a number of times! It's a great feeling that I wish I could share with each of you. You know what? Maybe I can try...
I didn't exactly grow up in a hot bed of creativity. Back then I didn't feel comfortable sharing my desire to write with most of the people in my life. Only ever speaking of my dream with my friend Mike. Today as I sit here writing to you, I find myself wondering what my parents would have said if I announced that I wanted to be a writer. I think that idea would have been so far outside of the norm that they wouldn't have known what to say. When I was sixteen I began working in my Uncle's sheet metal shop, I was okay at performing the work but each day reminded me that I wasn't where I belonged. The teenage me didn't hold out much hope that he would find any success outside of that factory. I wasn't hopeless but it was very difficult to be hopeful.
A lot has happened since then...
I began writing on this blog almost six years ago and that act saved me when I was lost. Then my salvation unexpectedly become my passion. I finally found a place where I "belonged" and I was writing. If you would have asked me two years ago, I would have told you that all of this couldn't get better - but then it did.
So when you reach out to tell me that you can't wait for my book, it feels like a dream coming true - each time. I'm instantly reminded that I was once a a young man cutting steel who would drift away in his head and envision himself sitting at a keyboard, but he could never imagine a path to getting there.
You guys have saved me twice so far, once from the isolation of type I parenting and again from the disappointment of a dream not realized. I can only hope that I've helped you somehow, because I owe you all a serious debt. Thank you.