So let me tell you why I’m frustrated, pissed off and a little bit hurt. In the last year since my book, The Before Now and After Then, was released, I’ve had tons of people message me and call me and let me know how much they loved my book, or if they didn’t love they told me what parts they liked and didn’t like. Friends at AA meetings, strangers on Facebook and all different kinds of people bought my book, were supportive of my creative endeavors and allowed my dream to come true. But…I can’t say that for the majority of people in my life.
While this post will come across as a rant or bitch session, I really just want to put it out there since I’ve heard similar things from my other artistic friends. I am 43 years old. In those 43 years, I have tried to be extremely supportive of my friends events, creative outlets, etc, unless it interferes with my recovery, previous plans or financial issues. In those cases, I always contact the person directly and try to explain why on this one occasion I can’t be as supportive as I should be as a friend.
Recently a musician friend of mine was playing for the last time in a public forum. Not really thinking much about it, I forgot about it and didn’t go. It wasn’t until after the fact that I realized how much this night meant to him. In talking to his wife about it she said I didn’t need to feel bad, etc, but the reality is, true friends shouldn’t need to be asked, they should just always do the right thing if they’re true friends.
I’m not a person who doesn’t have regrets. I have many, but I try to learn from them. I regret not going to my friend’s last gig. Not really because it would have changed the outcome much, but because I feel honored to be part of his life and part of his journey, creative or otherwise.
In this last year, I’ve had tons of friends who beat around the bush when the topic of my book comes up. I now have an audio book being recorded and two fiction books and possibly one book of essays slanted for release in 2016. This is no longer just a hobby for me. It hurts my feelings when my friends do not take my writing seriously and they call it “that writing thing” or “that book”. While many of my friends have been supportive of me, and that feels awesome, many constantly make excuses and apologize for not having read it. Hell, I don’t care if you don’t want to read my book or spend time on it, but I did after all write a book. Buy it for $13 bucks and ask me to sign it. That would totally make my day.
Marketing is a tough life. If I can’t even get friends to read my book at $6 for an E-book or $13 for a paperback, imagine getting total strangers to buy it??? It’s hell! I just don’t get it.
And I don’t want anyone to take it personally because honestly I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the people who have said it to me. But next time, I’ll probably be more honest. The truth is, I love to write and feel honored to have my book published. It means a lot to have people read my book and enjoy the stories I create. But as the athlete standing in the field, it means most that those smiling back are the ones you love the most.
Much love…And buy my damn book!