Back in December I shared with you the stunning feat I had pulled off by completing a book (see 20. What’s in a name?).
As I’m sure you recall I mentioned that I was struggling to select a name for the book. I was becoming increasingly frustrated, having conjured up, and rejected, more than a hundred possible names and was very close to following the genius-like suggestion of my brilliant friend Deb who, after listening to me whining that I couldn’t name my book, paused and said “why don’t you call it ‘Only $24.95?’”
I personally thought “Only $99.95” was a better title but then my book would have to classified as “academic material” and be available only in university bookstores where it would be forced upon starving students who would be required to shell out the cash in order to gain entry into some program or other.
Did I tell you I dream of owning a monopoly some day?
But, I digress. Back to my book.
As much as I liked Deb’s suggestion I decided to elicit the help of a few close and trusted colleagues.
I carefully selected a few names from the confidential and closely guarded list of my twenty-five hundred closest, personal friends. I emailed each of them a copy of my manuscript (it’s pretty impressive having a manuscript – as opposed to a document – don’t you think?), asked them to read it and send me their genuine, sincere thoughts (adulations).
I was sure that their gushing over the brilliance of my book would inspire me to create the perfect title
I sat back and waited and, sure enough, within a few days the accolades started pouring in.
I am by nature, a humble soul (my friend Bruce Lee – not that Bruce Lee, the other one – once told me I have much to be humble about) so I wrestled with the decision as to whether I should share with you, my faithful two readers, the praise heaped upon my book by these dear, dear close friends.
After much navel gazing and deep meditation I swallowed my fear of being viewed as conceited and have chosen to reproduce some of the heartfelt thoughts and warm feelings of these trusted friends.
Here is a partial list and, believe me, I get emotional each time I read this.
“Is English really your native language?”
“The time I spent reading this would have been better spent having root canal surgery.”
“Best advice I can offer, STOP WRITING.”
“Book? You call this a book? You should hear what I call it.”
“I think Malka should write your next book.”
“Ever thought of taking a writing course?”
“Read the first chapter. Slipped into a coma. Preferred the coma to the book”
“It would be best if you choose “select all” and then press “delete.”
“Changed my perception of you. You’re an idiot.”
“My gosh. What, if anything, were you thinking?”
“Life has not been good to you, has it?”
Did you get it? Did you figure it out?
Boy, those friends of mine. You gotta love ‘em . Do you not see what they did?
They understand how uncomfortable I am around flattery and praise. They know how modest and unassuming a person I really am. So they got together, they colluded, and embedded a secret message for me deep within the code of their comments.
Very clever. It took me quite a while to figure it out. I had to rearrange the order of their musings several times before I got it, but when I finally had it, the feelings of love I experienced for these wonderful friends was indescribable.
You still haven’t got it, have you?
Ok. Pay attention. I’ll show you. The real message, their true thoughts and feelings about the brilliance of my book becomes so apparent and so obvious when you decipher their code, their hidden message by placing the first word of each of their comments into a sentence.
I believe some of my readers are from Edmonton so I’ll do it for you.
Here it is: “It is the best book I ever read. It changed my life.”
Like I said. You gotta love those guys. Without their encouragement I would have been tempted to scrap the book and never write another word.
Thanks to them I am inspired to continue. In fact, after I publish the book, I’m thinking – and you’re gonna love this – of writing a new blog for you every single day.
Is there a point to this needless ranting?
I have written before of the absolute terror writing held for me throughout my entire life. By forcing myself to “just do it” this paralysing fear has become a long-distant memory and I have grown to love writing.
I write for my own enjoyment, not yours. I don’t write to please anyone but me and I am equally okay with those who tell me they enjoy reading my blogs as with those who write to tell me I’m an idiot (I know where you live).
I have learned that the cemeteries are full of people who died young in their quest to please everybody. It cannot be done. Praise, criticism, failure – they all make us stronger. And so I will continue to write, my only regret being the pleasure of writing I denied myself all those many years because of fear.
And so my question to you is this; how much pleasure have you allowed fear to steal from you?
Oh, before I forget. The title of my book? “Life sinks or soars – the choice is yours.”
It will be published and available by the end of March.
Till we read again.