A lot of people have been asking me how and why I decided to write a novel. There are two reasons. The first, and most important is that it’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid. I remember going to the library and trying to research how to get published when I was 12. Needless to say, my search came up pretty dry. That didn’t stop me from writing all those years, but it discouraged me from ever taking on something as big as a novel if there was no way anyone was ever going to even read it.
The second is that back in late February I was laid off from my job at a tech start-up without warning after a little over 4 years there. I’d never lost a job before, just got a raise and had been told to expect a “great yearly review” the next month, so to say it was a punch in the gut would be putting it lightly.
A couple of weeks later I went off to Europe to do a bunch of The Complete Guide to Everything live shows. I casually lied or changed the conversation when asked the inevitable “So what do you actually do for a living?” questions afterwards, but I felt changed by the experience. I met so many great people in three different countries who were so supportive of this thing we do that exists mainly just to make each other laugh and get you to do your shopping through our Amazon affiliate link. Just kidding (tcgte.com/amazon). When I came back to the US I felt like I was missing an opportunity here to not try something new.
I was lucky enough to have saved up for awhile and decided fuck it, I may never have an opportunity like this again: I’m writing that goddamn book. If it fails at least I’ll have finished it and it’ll be a fun anecdote to mention when I go back hunting for a job.
But I also made myself a side deal: If I could sell 10,000 copies of my novel in a year, then I would continue writing full-time. Sure, that wasn’t really enough money to live on, at least not in NYC, but I could at least augment that income with my savings so it didn’t dwindle as quickly. And hell, since we’re so close to the end of the year, I thought, let’s make that deal “10,000 by the end of 2014”, ya know?
I released my book officially on November 1st, 2013. A week ago today on December 12th, 2013 it sold its 10,000th copy. I’d given myself 462 days, but it only took 42. And it’s rapidly approaching 12,000 only a week later.
It still hasn’t completely sunken in because I keep waiting for the rug to get pulled out from under me, or for Amazon to send me an email and tell me there’s been a huge mistake, but the reviews and feedback I’ve received have been overwhelming so I’m starting to believe it.
So I’m a writer now. Full-time. Maybe I won’t be forever. Maybe I’ll find an amazing opportunity at a great company and it’ll be too much to resist, or maybe no one will want to buy one of my books again after this and I’ll go work at Wal-mart, but for right now at least I’m working on the next book in the Meta series full-time and it’s maybe the most satisfied I’ve ever felt in my life.
So that was 2013. The year started off with my entire world getting turned upside-down (there’s more to it than just the job stuff, but I’ve gotta keep some stuff private) and is ending on a ridiculous high note. I worked hard on this book, but was also incredibly lucky to have so many supportive people around me and on here (the internet that is). If you bought Meta, left a review, sent me an email, tweet, etc. about it: Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It’s changed my life in so many ways I can’t even fully explain it. I’m looking forward to hopefully giving you a lot more in 2014.