I’m proud to announce…
I’m writing a book.
The validation I’ve been desperately seeking for years came twice last week.
First, in a heartfelt message, a reader explained how my writing resonates with them and their struggles and that they would be first in line to buy my book… whenever I wrote it.
That turned the key.
Second, like most writers, I need my book ideas to be validated by a full-fledged author. And like most writers, I struggle with self-doubt: I’m not skilled enough to write a book. My ideas are not worthy enough for a book. I don’t have the disciple to write a book.
Look, it’s a lot easier not to write a book. It’s a lot easier to not hold myself accountable.
So instead of actually writing a book I tweeted Tim Ferriss, an author I admire and an absolute media giant, with zero expectations. I figured he wouldn’t respond to me— I mean, why would he— he’s a best selling author with proven ideas and I’m not.
And plus, if he didn’t respond to my tweet then I would be less inclined, less motivated to write a book.
Then this happened:
Ferriss’s groundbreaking The Four Hour Work,has been published in over 40 different languages and is hailed as one of the most important business books ever written. On his podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show. which often ranks #1 on iTunes Podcasts, Ferriss interviews titans of the entertainment, business, and sports industries including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Richard Branson, and Lebron James.
And he thought my idea was a worthy topic.
If the reader turned the key, Tim Ferriss cranked the engine.
What’s my responsibility?
But what was I going to do? What was my responsibility?
Since Caleb’s death, male students have been talking to me about their feelings–sadness, grief, confusion, about how difficult it is to be a young man and be vulnerable.
Like myself, many of my male students are taught to suppress.
“Be a man. Stop crying.”
“Get over it and get back to work.”
“Don’t ask for help. It makes you look weak.”
Fearing we may look weak or vulnerable or less of a man we suppress. And as my favorite author Tim O’Brien wrote in my favorite novel The Things They Carried:
“Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to.”
My book will explore why suicide is rising amount young men, especially suburban males and offer practical strategies for young men to use so the can positively and effectively deal with emotional suppression. Furthermore, my classroom teaching experience, coupled with statistical research, has shown young men are reading less than young women. This book will highlight quotes and provide literary examples from famous fictional high school staples ( Hamlet, The Catcher in the Rye) that explore manhood and masculinity–which will help young males to:
- recognize that male emotional suppression is nothing new and mental health have been the subject of literature for hundreds of years,
- feel less alone and understand that all males (real and fictitious) are struggling with the moniker “real man”.
- understand that literature can offer great clarity and direction regarding our own journey.
- increase their engagement with literature.
- find comfort in literature.
- read more.
Here’s my thesis: suburban young males are in trouble.
Suburban males are of seen as privileged, invulnerable to the problems other demographics face, which often causes their mental health issues to be overlooked or ignored.
And I’m a suburban male. Most of my family and friends are suburban males. My students are suburban males. My sons are suburban males.
I am writing a book about why men suppress their emotions and the negative effects emotional suppression has on their mental health.
I’m writing a book about suicide prevention.
I’m writing a book that will use literature, personal stories, illustrations, and statistics to specifically target young suburban males who don’t read. Yet this book will also help everyone understand the young male psyche.
I’m writing the book I want my sons and students to read.
I’m writing the book I wish I read when I was a younger man.
I’m excited to announce I’m writing a book.
Now please hold me accountable.
A favor—I’m approaching 200 subscribers (which is pretty cool!)…if you could pass this post on to someone I would be totally grateful!
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