I have dreamed about writing a book since I realized people did such things. As a kid, I knew Dr Suess did it. So did Laura Ingalls Wilder. But it seemed super hard. And time-consuming. But in March of 2020, I took the pandemically-induced gift of time, and started writing. And like a literary Forrest Gump, I just kept write-ing and write-ing. Today, my little paper baby, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? is 2 years old! So I have taken a moment to reflect on how writing this book has impacted my life.
9 Ways writing a book has impacted my life.
2. I have earned a new level of respect. Our society respects published authors. I think it’s because you have done something that other people know is hard. And it indicates that you have a deep level of knowledge in a specific area. Or that you are both creative and disciplined. #createiplined I consider being a published author The Poor Man’s Ph.D. (Or Poor Woman’s Ph.D.) Because when you add author to your title it earns you a higher level of respect. (I always say respect like Ali G says respek!)
3. I get hired to speak. Since publishing my book my speaking requests have quadrizumpled. (Which is a Mary Poppins-like way of saying ‘greatly increased’. This year I traveled all over the country speaking at conferences, symposiums, company meetings, association events, rotary clubs, chamber of commerce events, and schools. I love speaking. For me, it’s right up there with smiling and chocolate milk.
4. I have made money. Between book sales and speaking engagements, my book has become a source of income. It’s cool to have a product that you only have to create once, but you can sell over and over again, like Nelly and Tim McGraw.
5. I get invited to be a guest. Since publishing my book I have been a guest on countless podcasts. (OK, I could probably count them if I tried really hard, but I haven’t.) I have also been invited to be a guest on the Milwaukee morning show The Morning Blend on NBC about 6 times, including this week! ( Tune in here Friday morning at 9am, or find segments from the past anytime.)
6. I have been quoted. A cool result of writing a book is that I have been quoted on social media by people I don’t know. I have been alerted of mentions of my name, and when I followed the thread I realized that people I didn’t know shared quotes from the book. I have reached out to some of these people to thank them and find out how they read the quote. Some of them read the book. Others googled for quotes on positivity or other such positive terms. It’s pretty cool to have your work spread like that. Now I know how Jif and Skippy feel when people spread their work.
7. I attend book club discussions. I have never joined a book club. Perhaps because I am a dude, And book clubs have historically seemed less dudey. But I always thought they seemed like a cool idea. Now, every time I hear of a book club reading my book I volunteer to attend the discussion. My next one is coming up in January. It’s enjoyable to have conversations with people who read your book critically. And I love it when people share their favorite funny lines from the book. #DepecheMode
8. I have seen pictures of my book all over the world. Ok, so not North Korea or Antarctica. But, you know, a lot of cool places. People often take my book on vacation and enjoy reading it in some spectacular locales. Then they send me pics or tag me in photos. It is safe to say my book has been to more interesting places than I have.
9. I can buy my book from any bookseller. Initially, my book was only available on Amazon, from my publisher, Ripples Media, or from the trunk of my car. However, now, you can order my book from virtually anywhere. All the online booksellers that I have ever checked now carry it. And all independent bookstores can order it too. (Shout out to Boswell Book Company in Milwaukee for being amongst the first stores to stock the book on their shelves.)
Writing and publishing my book has added to my life in many positive and rewarding ways. And the impact continues to compound. Yes, it takes work. But the payoff has been well worth it. If you have considered writing a book I strongly encourage you to do it for real. I am happy to share everything I know. Although the key is to simply open a Google document (or Word doc) and start writing. Then write a little more every day, just like Elvis Costello.
If you are still looking for a great Christmas present that doesn’t break the bank, please consider giving What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? If you read this too late to be delivered and you live in the Milwaukee area, reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can hook you up with a signed copy, even up to the last minute. Boom!