Why I’m Glad January is Over

There are more than just one or two reasons why I’m glad January is over, but there is only one I’m willing to talk about today. As a writer of contemporary fiction, I’m always trying to find new and better ways to promote my work. Part of that includes enlisting the help of paid consultants, whose advice (since I paid for it), holds a lot of weight. By the way, so do I: this will be clear in a moment.

One of the things we writers have to do is internet marketing through blog posts. Personally, I like blogging, except when I’m told that I have to do it. Which is also why I like being an indy writer. There’s no publisher, agent, or editor hounding me about deadlines. I write what I want, when I want. It’s great for the creative mind; not so much for the creative wallet.

Anyway, my internet marketing consultant suggested that I write one blog post per week. I countered with one per month citing my full-time job as the excuse for not having time for more. Eventually, we settled on two per month and that really is a reasonable expectation.

As it is, January came and was more than three weeks old with no blog posts by yours truly. My marketing guy noticed the deficiency and in an entirely professional manner, meant only as a well meaning suggestion, sent me an email with ideas for a blog post. He said January is an awareness month and that I should consider this list as possible topics.

 

Weight Loss Awareness Month [1]

National Codependency Awareness Month [2]

National Mentoring Month (United States)

Stalking Awareness Month (United States)[3]

Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month (United States)[4]

Healthy Weight Week (United States)[5]

 

Okay. I get the main idea of an awareness month designation is to bring difficult issues that may go unnoticed into the public eye. But . . . for those of you who have never met me, I’m about 5-7 and 235 lbs. And in case you haven’t already noticed, January, the month after all the gluttonous holidays are over—begins and ends with weight loss.

Bahhhhh – Humbug!

I know that treadmill is under this pile of clothes somewhere.

 

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Are You a Father or Are You a Mechanic?

As you probably already figured out, I’m a writer, not a mechanic. Yes, like so many these days, I call myself a writer and no, it isn’t because I’ve been laid off from my third job in four years. Just so you know, I’ve been writing for decades. My first full-length novel about a single father meeting the challenges of raising his son and in the process, discovering things about himself that he never knew—is finally out. It’s called, Positives & Negatives, Tricycles & Pancakes. So yes, I’m a writer and I’d be a writer whether I was stocking groceries at the local market, or mowing lawns up and down my neighborhood streets.

What I am, and what I do to keep a roof over my head, are two different things. It would be great if it didn’t have to be that way but for now, that’s the way it is. For me it’s very much like living two lives at the same time, there’s the writer life, and the everything else life. The everything else life is real and largely out of my control, the writing life is fictional and even though it only exists in thought, for me it’s no less real. The only thing the two worlds have in common is that I have no control, and I’ve become accustomed to it.

On the other hand, the differences between the two worlds are myriad, but can be summed up by two words, make believe. In the writing world, I can experience anything; life, love, hate, I can fall out of a ten-story window and I can die doing it, or more sensationally, I can survive. I can do anything, or more accurately, anything can happen to me and I don’t have to experience it in the real world. So why, when I meet a prospective reader for the first time, are the questions always the same?

“Are you a single father?”

“No.”

“Do you have a son?”

“No.”

I’ve been marketing my book for about six months and it’s always at this point that the prospective reader decides to move on. Not only do they not buy the book, but later, if someone who has tells them good things about it, their first response is, “He isn’t even a father.”

Ugh—I, for the life of me couldn’t figure it out. Why is this such a big problem? It must be a serious one but the reason continued to elude me. At first, I thought maybe if I ignored the whole thing and didn’t make it any bigger than it was, it would go away. Especially, as people read the book and then told others, you know, the power of word-of-mouth advertising. I was wrong. As more people talked about the book, more people would inquire with the same two questions. Are you a single father? Do you have a son? I’d answer no, and they’d move on.

What to do? What to do? I thought about my possible options. Morality and personal responsibility aside, I suppose I could put the cart in front of the horse and find a way to become a baby-daddy. As time rolls on I would not only establish credibility and standing as a father, but I’d have a son too, or maybe a daughter. How hard could it be? Every day, thousands of men become baby-daddies and they aren’t even trying. Of course, being a real father takes a lot more than just a pregnancy, but as I said, I didn’t see the reason why everyone thought it was necessary in the first place. Why did I actually have to be a father? Why do I actually have to have a son? I guess I was just missing it.

The following months did nothing to change anything. The same two questions were still pestering me so I decided to perform a thought experiment. I asked myself, Davyd, what if instead of writing a novel about a single father, you wrote a book about fixing cars? Would I, as a reader of auto repair books, buy it? And the first question that came to mind was, are you a mechanic? And the second, do you fix cars? I never even thought to ask if I was a writer.

The light bulb went off in my head. If I were a mechanic with 10-15 years experience fixing cars and a professional certification or two, sure, why not? I’d buy the book. But if I’m a writer who writes novels, short stories, and sometimes a novella, well . . . I don’t think so. And there it was, I saw the problem and I understood it completely.

However, in order for you to understand it the way I do, you’ll need to prepare yourself because the problem isn’t as obvious as you might think. To prove it, I’m going to tell you something that isn’t going to make any sense but nevertheless, is true. There is no problem. The fact that I wrote a book about a single father raising his son, when I am not a single father, and I never had a son, is totally and completely irrelevant. Here’s why.

Anyone who has read the book automatically and without realizing it, loses their skepticism before the end of the first chapter. In fact, most do it after just a page or two, and the reason they do, and the reason I never understood the skepticism in the first place, is this. I never set out to write a how-to book about raising a son by yourself. I don’t write non-fiction (at least not yet), so that was, and still is, the furthest thing from my mind. True, Positives & Negatives, Tricycles & Pancakes, is about a single father raising his son, but I didn’t write a book about the father that I am. I wrote the book about the father I wish I had.

You see, a long time ago I was a son, and I had a father. So yes, I do have standing and credibility regarding the subject and beyond that . . . I will say no more. If you have other questions, you’ll just have to read my book, L. Davyd Pollack’s book.

 

“Brothers,” Free through 11/02/14

There was a time in my life when I worked as a salesperson. First, in-store retail sales and after reaching a level of success there, outside sales. Back then, if you worked for Sears and you made it to the appliance department—you reached the top. The only place you could go to earn more money as a commissioned salesperson was outside sales. Unfortunately, those positions were few and far between. Basically, someone had to die or retire before you had a chance of getting one of those jobs.

Two years after I started selling appliances, someone decided to retire from Sears Heating and Cooling. Guess what, I got the job. And if I didn’t have designs on becoming a writer, or Kmart didn’t buyout Sears and destroy the outside-sales department, I’d probably still be working there. The people were great, they were all highly trained professionals, and we all made good money . . . including Sears.

Why do I bring all this up? Well, there’s one golden rule of sales that all good salespeople know but only the experienced ever follow through on. When you’re on a roll, don’t stop, always ride it out to the end. Inexperienced salespeople always lose track of this rule especially after they make a big sale. The worst thing you can do for your wallet is to quit when you’re hot and start celebrating too soon. The ride will end on its own, no need to cut it short, get back in there and close another. If you don’t, someone else will.

What’s the connection? As a promotional tool, “Brothers” is doing better than I anticipated. True, I’d like to sell books to as many readers as possibly for as much money as I can get. But money has never been my prime motivation for writing. Readers were, and still are; that’s why all my books are reasonably priced. Let’s face it, if wealth is your only motivation, you probably have a better chance of striking it rich in Vegas, and no, I haven’t run a statistical analysis . . . I’m just saying.

So, to sum it up, “Brothers” is getting out and touching people—no sense in stopping now.

Thanks to all of you.

father, son, physical, disability, cat million, dollar, house, car, bills, moral, dilemma brother, fraternity, college, roommates, teammates, friend women, career, family, power, girlfriend BookCoverImage SJ&M