I should probably have titled this blog
“Procrastination” since it’s the November blog and I’m writing this
on December 2. But in my own defense, I’ve been very busy helping
our Rotary club organize the annual New Port Richey Holiday Parade,
which will be happening next Saturday, December 9. It’s a very
large parade with 133 entries, some of which include multiple
units. The Rotary Club of Holiday has been involved in this annual
tradition for several decades.
But I digress.
Last Christmas, I received a black T-shirt
with the words “write on” emblazoned on the front. I often wear
this T-shirt in the hopes that someone might comment on it, thus
providing me with an opportunity to tell them that I'm an author
and that they should buys my books. Alas, nobody has ever asked me
Two weeks ago, however, I happened to be
wearing this same shirt when I visited the local grocery store. I
went to the deli counter focused on ordering some smoked gruyere
cheese. The man waiting on me said nothing other than “may I help
you”, but another woman behind the counter asked me, “Are you a
The shirt I wore being the farthest thing from
my mind, her question caught me off guard. For a brief moment, I
thought this woman must recognize me as a published author. Perhaps
she’d read one or more of my novels. Although in retrospect, the
chances of this happening are about the same as me winning the
Florida Lottery — but it’s possible.
I stood there, blissfully ensconced in my
fantasy, looking at her with a very self-satisfied smile on my
face, too flattered to immediately reply.
“People probably ask you that all the time,”
she said, breaking the awkward gap in the thus far one-sided
conversation. I continued to stare at her stupidly, basking in the
warmth of her recognition. “Your shirt,” she clarified,
My fragile little bubble popped. “Oh,” I said,
now deflated. “No. Actually, you’re the first person who’s ever
commented on it.”
She smiled pleasantly, then returned to
whatever task had previously absorbed her attention. The man
slicing my gruyere presented me with my packaged order. “Anything
“Oh. No, thank you.”
Being an unknown author can be very lonely. I
went home, put my cheese in the refrigerator, and sat down at my
desk to decide whether or not I should continue writing novels.
After spending a reasonable amount of time wallowing in my
self-doubt, I decided that the world would, indeed, be a better
place if people read my books. I just had to figure out how to let
people know that I am a writer.
I decided to retain a social media consultant.
Fortunately, I happened to know one, somebody who knows how to
actually use social media effectively. I’m pathetically inept at
using tools like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. This young woman,
Lexi Schmitt, put together a three-month plan, which I hope will
help to extend my reach out there in the vast universe of
So, you will be seeing a new look and feel in
many of my posts going forward. I’m certain that three months
hence, when I wear my “write on” T-shirt, people will stop me in
the grocery store and ask, “Say, aren’t you that famous author,
John R. York?”
“Why, yes I am.”