Advice For The Price Of Lunch

            My advice? Write. And keep writing.
            Look, I’m halfway great and a quarter awful. But you show someone more persistent than me and I’ll give you a hundred bucks. Since ninth grade when I got it in this dense skull that I wanted to write, I’ve been writing. Writing. And writing more.
            I’m honing my voice and my skills and my “talents”. But that last word is such a strange word. Some might call me brilliant and some might call me brash. I just know that I’m learning and still trying and still striving and still writing.
            One secret? Write.
            Look—Journey said it best when they said “Don’t stop believin’.” That’s my motto. Everyday I’m reminded of someone hitting it big while doing so little. They write one book and boom. SUCCCESSSSSSSS. YESSSS. So easy. So simple. But talent and story and skill and drive and timing and luck and stamina are not easy and simple. They are out of your control.
            But you can still do one thing. You can still write.
            Man, I’ve been writing. I mean WRITING. People email me saying “I know you’re busy” and I want to just bust a gut laughing. They have no idea. They have no clue. But look—I’m lucky. I’m blessed. I’m fortunate to be able to pick up one of these books and see my name on it. Kinda rhymes with flasher. Makes me think of trasher. Yeah, that name. Yeah, it’s my real name. Yeah, I’m a different brand in 50 states.
            I won’t stop believing. Not because I read my stuff and get goosebumps. And not because I read fan emails and get wide-eyes and a big head. I’m continuing to believe because God keeps opening doors.
            I want THRASHER in the bright lights but usually the light bulbs burn out before they can illuminate the night sky. I want those numbers and figures but the equations always let me down. The longer time goes by, the more I see it’s not about me and never will be.
            But I still believe. Oh, do I believe.
            I’m looking at ten different pieces of the puzzle and they can sure move fast. They can whip and whir and blind by and they can produce when necessary. Ten fingers typing away like there’s no tomorrow because sometimes I wonder if there really will be. I’d rather type then hand out Arby’s sauce along with curly fries. Don’t get me wrong—I love Arby’s. But I love my job even more.
            There is a secret and that secret is to write. There’s no magical formula. There’s no hidden secret, no mysterious recipe. You have to write and keep writing. Then maybe you’ll learn. Maybe the awful will become merely bad. Maybe you’ll get to halfway decent. Maybe you’ll get lucky.
            And yeah, sure—maybe your writing is glorious and beautiful and transcendent but if that’s the case, I’m not sure why you’re reading this to begin with. Win the Pulitzer and start speaking to large crowds and stop reading blogs.  
            As for me, I’m going to keep writing. I’m going to keep learning. I’m going to keep going. I’m going to keep these words as my allies and my colleagues. I’m going to remain in awe of the form and the format and keep trying. Keeping trying and failing.
            I’m not J.K. Rowling so you don’t have to listen to me, but a 100 million in sales wouldn’t change my mind in urging anybody who wants to be published to write. You learn by writing. And being rejected. And writing. And reading. And being rejected more. And writing more.
            There you go. That’s my writing lesson.
            You now owe me an Arby’s roast beef sandwich.