On Why I Will Not Publish My Book

10 Jun

Yes.  I wrote a book.  Yes.  You’ve read portions of it on this blog (ahem Jessie Simmons and the first part of my Writing Samples page.

The book is about 288 pages long (I believe including some of the front matter and thesis literature) and it is all about working at the Whirlpool plant in Clyde, Ohio (which I did for 6 summers and on breaks from college), as well as growing up in Northwest Ohio in Sherwood Anderson’s own Winesburg, Ohio.

But I will not publish this book.  I have good reasons for it, too.

I don’t want to.  It’s mine.  I do not have to share it with the world.  I learned from writing it, and I learned from putting it down.  I got what I wanted out of that book, and I do not feel that it should be out in the world.

I’m farking sick of looking at it.  I stared at parts of the damn thing from my sophomore year college at Ashland to the day I turned it in to the graduate school in North Carolina.  Since then, I haven’t even THOUGHT about writing more of it, adding, subtracting, changing it.  I haven’t opened the damn thing.  Time away from writing is a good thing.  It gives you the distance and clarity of mind to edit it later.

Publishing Process?  No.  Don’t understand it.  Don’t want to.  Don’t care.  Publishers?  Agents?  Bunch of bologna if you ask me.

Book tours.  In order to appropriately publish and promote a book, you must do a book tour.  I am not leaving my job.  I love my job.

Privacy.  Now why on God’s green earth would I want the world knowing that much about me?  I’m not even sure I’ve processed it all myself.  So no.  It’s much more telling and intimate than this blog…which is fairly open in my mind.  But I know most of the folks that read my blog, and I’m okay with them knowing things.

“You can’t go home again.” – Thomas Wolfe  I write nonfiction.  The book is a memoir.  I talk about real people and real situations.  And because I am a purist, I refuse to “fake” anything in my writing.  It is all true, and I will not compromise the truth.  It’s all we have to make sense of the world, and our ability to discern between fiction and nonfiction is important.  And the truth is that if I published, there would be a crazy amount of legal crap, I’d have to get a million people to sign off on it, and I would still offend someone.  Thomas Wolfe is right.  You can’t go home once you publish something about your hometown.  Remember October Road?  And his book was fiction!

I love my hometown and I refuse to not be able to go home again.  Until all the people in my book are gone, or until I can get them to promise that they won’t read it, there will be no publishing.

Happy Friday!


Posted by on June 10, 2011 in Daily Happenings


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5 responses to “On Why I Will Not Publish My Book

  1. Danielle

    June 10, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I think you should just share it with a few people who don’t live there anymore. Perhaps someone who used to live there but no longer does. 🙂

    I totally understand your situation. I do think a lot of people would love to read it tho! And I doubt many, or any, would get upset with you over being truthful!

  2. Erin Seabolt Bond

    June 10, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    I think you already know my thoughts on this, but just to reiterate: good for you! Plus, I think a lot of first books are just that–first books. I love my first book (the re-written version, anyway; I couldn’t even look at the thesis now if you paid me). It’s a lovely, dear book to me, and it’s personally important to me, but I wrote it before I was thinking about what was and wasn’t marketable, and that’s quite obvious in a very fundamental way. (I’m not saying this about your book, of course, because I haven’t read it! I’m just saying, this was my experience. Of course, I only found this out after years of rewriting and trying to publish it, which I’m trying not to see as time wasted.)

    So…the obvious next question is, are you going to write a second? 🙂

  3. Joline Scott

    June 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Well, maybe your grandkids can publish it….

    Thank god I write fiction! I recently sent two stories out for publication and am sitting here with crossed fingers. Now, as soon as I finish a novel, maybe I’ll think about finding an agent and getting it published, but you’re right about one thing…………….it’s a whole lot of work!!! 😉

  4. Tim

    June 13, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Being from your hometown, I would love to read your take on some of the things I’ve grown up with or experienced myself..maybe. I understand your point though. Good Luck which ever you choose.


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