Monday, December 15, 2014

Post #3--Timeline

So, here's the sequence of events, kind of.

2009--I wrote a novel. It about killed me. Queried, got a positive response, but realized I hadn't edited the manuscript and that I'd queried prematurely. (For the record, it still sits, unedited, rotting in my hard drive. Someday, I say. Someday.)

2010--Started The Weed. My blog was about ADHD. I had a lot to say. For about a month. Then I tried medication for the first time and things tapered off.

End of 2010--I read a blog post online that made me laugh. I realized in that moment that I had wasted so much material talking about ADD in a serious way. Something clicked. From that day forward, randomly, I started writing humor posts. I became obsessed with it, started submitting my stuff to small contests, started gaining followers. It was fun.

Concurrently I was very purposefully building a writing platform. The undergirding of the whole operation was to build a platform to eventually be able to sell my book. From the very beginning, blogging has been about eventually selling books for me. I love it in and of itself, but the driving force for me is always that bigger picture.

2011--More humor posts. Still a lot of fun, but things started to get a little strained. I felt very constricted only using humor Most of my followers by that point had joined because of the comedy. I felt boxed in, but I also really loved it.

Beginning of 2012--I started really getting back into my novel, trying to finish it. I felt like that would be the next step. As you can see from this post, I had big plans. You can probably tell that I had no idea what was going to happen in two months.

Also near the beginning of 2012 the feeling of inauthenticity grew as I wrote humor posts. One day, I sat with writer's block and Lolly came in and said "I know what's going, Josh. You feel inauthentic." Then she hesitated before saying "I think there's a part of you that wants to come out of the closet." I'd never seriously considered it, but we both felt something powerful in that moment. That conversation sparked a months long process of getting blessings, receiving personal revelation, etc. all indicating that I needed to share our story. It wasn't until the middle of the year that I realized I needed to do that on the blog. I cannot emphasize the level of complexity the first six months of 2012 involved.

2012, June--I followed my gut and came out of the closet on the blog. Then the blog exploded and became something else entirely. It morphed into an account of a gay man married to a woman.

But this blog was never really about me being a gay man married to a woman.

And it was always about writing.

Which is why, when a major literary agent contacted me through the blog a week or so after my viral blog post, I paid attention. Suddenly, I wasn't querying agents. An agent had just queried me. And he had sold some major things. Things you've probably heard of.

It was all very breathtaking.

I set up a phone call and we chatted. I was all nerves and excitement. I told him about my novel, about my aspirations, but he wasn't really interested in any of that. "Let me know," he said, "if you end up writing a memoir. I'd be very interested to represent a memoir." And with that bug in my ear, we hung up.

I didn't speak to him again for a very long time.