I think everyone who has ever wanted to write a book has dreams about what publication day will be like. So far, mine has involved exactly zero groupies and parades, but it’s still been nice.
I’ve been watching this day creep towards me for a long time, and now that it’s here, I’m feeling more emotions than I can describe. Excitement and an agreeable sort of fear are vying for the top spot right now.
But sitting on top of this stack of feelings is gratitude (Sonia and Brian, this is going to be about you, so stop reading if you’re the blushing types). Just under that is a stunned sort of disbelief.
I work in a public library. I make about $40,000 a year. I’m a simple guy and I’m pretty happy if I have a book to read, some weights to lift, and I can spend enough time with my family.
I was never looking for anything life changing.
And yet, today, on Book Tour Eve, The World’s Strongest Librarian is …
- One of Barnes and Noble’s Discover Great New Writers Selections
- One of Huffington Post‘s most-anticipated reads of 2013
- Recently featured in O Magazine
- The subject of a great review in The New Yorker
Seth Godin wrote about it. Steven Pressfield, an author whom I had adored for most of my adult reading life, was suddenly writing to me, some guy working in a library, to say “good job!”
All very surreal, but, to use a cliché, a bit of a dream come true.
How it came together
This dream would not have happened — at least not in the same way — without some early support and encouragement from friends in the blogging world.
Way back when, Brian Clark and Sonia Simone gave me a chance to write here on Copyblogger. They were incredibly supportive and encouraging, and that in turn gave me a chance to be seen by more and more people online.
Opportunities to write elsewhere — and to become a better writer — appeared. Opportunities to speak. Opportunities to grow. Opportunities to meet and befriend many of you who read this site.
Opportunities to develop this quality the Copyblogger people are calling Authority.
And most importantly for making progress online (and for the book), I learned how to figure out what worked. I learned how to test. I learned how to figure out my own way of doing things, without worrying what everyone else was doing.
Why not me? Why not you?
Somewhere along the way, as each new improbable development in the book deal happened, I had to stop saying “It could never happen to me.” Because, whether it was earned, deserved, or just the chaos of the universe, it did happen.
Somewhere along the way, it made more sense to say, “You know what? Why not me? Why not you? Why not anyone?”
If I could choose the takeaway from this thank you note, I would love for each of you to say, “Why not me?” Then put your head down, go to work, and keep marching forward. As Steven Pressfield said recently, Put your ass where your heart wants to be.
This has all been the result of some good luck, bad luck, dumb luck, and a lot of hard work and stubbornness. But it also, as with so many things, comes down to people who were generous when they didn’t have to be.
Thank you Brian and Sonia, for one of the many small pushes that got things moving.
And thank you to all of you who have supported me as readers and friends.
Can’t see the video? Click here to watch it on YouTube.
About the Author: Josh Hanagarne is a writer, speaker, librarian, and the author of The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Strength, Faith, and the Power of Family, which recently received a rave review from The New Yorker. He works on level 3 of the Salt Lake City Public Library, loves his job, and doesn't plan on leaving. Get more from Josh on Twitter.