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February 2012

February 29, 2012

Shameless Self-Promoting Whore

You are right to be annoyed with me. In fact, nobody is more annoyed with me for using my Twitter account to mercilessly flog my new book than me. But over the last month ("Black: His Story Month"), that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. Not because I am some self-aggrandizing douchebag, but because I have worked too hard on this project to let it disappear without doing everything I can to help it succeed.

I’ve been on Twitter for three years. In those three years, I’ve written nearly eleven thousand tweets. Nearly all of them were jokes. That’s a lot of jokes. Until this month, I have rarely used my account for self-promotion for the obvious reason that it’s as irritating as an open fuck sore.

But a good portion of those three years was also spent writing my book. I did it alone, in my home, on airplanes, in coffee shops and hotel rooms. I threw away most of what I wrote. I failed and failed and failed. And eventually, I figured out what I wanted to say and how to say it. I got it to a place where I am proud of the work and want as many people to read it as possible.

The book industry is similar to the movie industry. If you don’t have a hit right out of the gates, everybody forgets about you. So it’s important to get off to a strong start and hope word of mouth takes it from there. That’s what I'm doing.

Yes, I’m being a shameless self-promoting whore. I know it’s annoying. Please bear with me. Or better yet, buy the book. Please RT.



February 26, 2012

To the Inept

Some people emerge into adulthood as fully formed human beings, confident and able. These are people with clear visions of themselves, people who stride into the world with strong handshakes and winning smiles. I was not one of those people. As I entered adulthood, I had some vague idea about the kind of person I would like to become, but my expectations for myself never quite aligned with the reality I lived, the way a door sometimes hangs badly off its hinges.

In my head, I was a suave, debonair man about town, slayer of womanly hearts. In reality, I was a zitty, awkward introvert and a bad kisser who spent most nights alone in his apartment eating Buffalo chicken wings out of a cardboard box. Then one day I found myself living in the suburbs with a wife and two kids, utterly bewildered as to how I found myself in the circumstances of my own life.

So I wrote a book to figure out how I got here and what to do about it. 

The book is called You’re Not Doing It Right, which is a sentence my wife said to me the first time I ever smoked pot, but which I think pretty much describes how I have felt about myself my entire life.

I suspect there are many people out who feel as I used to, that everybody else has their shit figured out, that they are the only ones muddling through life with this intense feeling of incompetence, that any successes that have are accidental and any failures deserved.

But the older I get, the more I realize people like me, the befuddled and inept, are actually the majority. We’re like a massive army of morons. None of us has any idea what we are doing. Yet somehow we remain upright. Somehow we manage to tie our shoes and feed ourselves. Some of us find love. Some of us make babies, and sometimes it’s even on purpose.

And sometimes we fuck it all up.

If writing this book taught me anything, it’s that I cannot figure anything out. Not personally and not professionally. The plans that I make inevitably go awry, the choices I make almost always seem incorrect, and yet somehow here I am, forty years old and happy. Of course, I take a lot of pills, but still.

You’re Not Doing It Right will probably not grant you any wisdom. It will solve none of your problems. It will not give you washboard abs. But if you get anything out of it, I hope it’s this: we are all colossal fuck-ups, every single one of us, and if, by some reason, you are one of the happy few who never takes a false step and always knows exactly what is just around every corner, you’re doing it wrong.