Yesterday I announced that I’m writing my first book: part memoir, part “red state relocation guide”, forthcoming Spring 2022 from Bombardier Books/Post Hill Press.
It's actually a great example of how things on social media aren’t always what they appear, and of how it is utterly critical to think in shades of grey rather than the dreaded “black and white.” These are frequent topics of conversation between me & my clients, so I figured I’d write about it publicly here, too.
In the decade when I lived in New York City (2010-2020), I often hung out with various political dissidents, non-ideologues, and unconventional ideologues - independents, libertarians, Libertarian Party types (totally different!), literal anarch0-capitalists, and so on. At perhaps 2 or 3 such events, I met a guy who at the time was like an indie publisher. We ended up becoming Facebook friends.
Well later somehow later he made his way into the employment of Post Hill Press, via Bombardier Books which is more or less their imprint for anyone who is not writing about conventional progressive things in a conventionally progressive way.
2020 went like it did, and people migrating from apparently-in-decline “blue” cities to the red wild south/west began to attract some attention. My now-publisher and his colleagues realized this might provide a good setup for a book. Meanwhile, I had made just such a move, and was posting frequently on Facebook about my Texscapades.
My publisher dropped me a line to suggest that perhaps this book was appropriate for me to write. I casually prepared an outline of some 600 words. Time passed, I figured the project was DOA for whatever reason, and then I was notified that actually it was accepted and when could I have the book written please?
Because I know extra time would just be spent procrastinating, I’ve promised the book at the turn of the new year, to be published perhaps 6 months from now in the spring of 2022. I never pitched anyone or made major revisions to my idea. It’s not really how this process is (allegedly) supposed to work.
Here’s where the non-black-and-white thinking comes into the picture. On the one hand, it’s not really fair that I should have a book deal fall in my lap, just for being the right person in the right place at the right time. I realize that there are people who’ve worked so much harder than me towards their first books, who are still doing such work, and that many of them won’t make it for no real fault of their own.
At the same time, that fundamental unfairness doesn’t imply that - inversely - I don’t “deserve” to write a book and have it published. I was a decent bet on the publisher’s part, I have a significant pre-existing audience and a track record of public writing (albeit much shorter pieces). I’m sort of funny sometimes and I might be able to capture a slice of this thing with my words.
So I’m not trying to apologize for lucking into a book so much as simply offering the bit of the story that isn’t captured in the social media glamor of it. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. We all write for different reasons. Let those be the standard for your own success, and not some vague and non-actionable sense that you’re “behind” anyone else at standards you didn’t choose, literally cannot meet, and that don’t even really apply to you in the first place.
I’ll be providing periodic updates on my word count and, later, some updates on how to buy the book. In the meantime if you have any questions that I might be able to answer feel free to reach out.
Pamela J. Hobart - Philosophical Life Coaching Newsletter
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