If you follow me on social media, you are already way more than aware of this, but I am currently in the process of writing my second book. It continues the Hardcore Self Help series, which started with my best selling book F**k Anxiety. When I say best selling, I mean it. Go to Amazon, search for “anxiety” and see what happens. I’m not saying this to toot my own horn (maybe a tiny bit), but the unpredictable success of my first book has been such a motivating factor in writing my second book. There is clearly a desire and a need for literature that discusses mental health in a way that is both relatable and authoritative, silly and serious. As I said, my next book will be a continuation of the series and will be called “Hardcore Self Help: F**K Depression.” The point of this blog post is to share a few things about the book.
I am aiming to get it out by February.
It is currently November 15th as I write this post. Let me just say this. I SUCK at getting things done without a deadline. I will always procrastinate if given the chance. Strangely, when I wrote “F**k Anxiety” that was not the case. I had this crazy surge of inspiration and cranked the whole thing out in about a single week. That was most definitely the exception. I have known for quite a while that I wanted to write a book on depression and started sketching out some rough ideas for chapters shortly after releasing my first book. HOWEVER, the process of writing has been incredibly slow, which usually leads me to blame writer’s block. That ends now. I am imposing a deadline of February 2016 on myself. Why February? Because that’s when my baby boy is due and I would love to have this thing out before then. I know myself well. This may seem like it is cutting it close, but I have learned over time (read: 5 year Ph.D. program) to find the right crunch time balance that will kick my ass into high gear. I put out my best work when I can get in the zone like this. In preparation for this intense period of writing, I decided to remove my greatest source of distraction: video games. Yesterday, I was a huge bum and treated myself to an ENTIRE day of gaming. I’m serious. I took a break for lunch and dinner and that’s it. Then this morning, I uninstalled every game that I have on my PC. I will not be playing any games until this book hits the shelves. That’s a big deal for me.
This book is a collaborative effort.
One of the most awesome things about F**k Depression is that it is turning out to be a collaborative experience. I have been very blessed to gather a loyal and interactive audience through the process of publishing and promoting my first book. That means that when I have questions about what should be in this book, I can literally just ask the people who will probably be buying it. The most valuable choice that I have made through the entire writing process is a one day survey that I put online. I asked three questions. 1: What definitely does NOT help with your depression? 2: What are the current roadblocks or setbacks that you are having? 3: If you don’t experience significant depression, what helps out avoid it?
The responses from this survey practically give me a road map of what do write about. I know that I need to talk about how to overcome the feelings of guilt and fear that hold you back from moving forward. I need to address motivation and how to push on when nothing feels pleasurable anymore. I need to write about how to wrangle your mind into seeing things realistically. I need to write about how you can enlist the help of others when it’s so hard to make them understand. These pieces of feedback have helped to shape types of chapters that I will be including in the book.
The tone is similar but more refined.
F**k Anxiety was most definitely a first book. Looking back at it, I can totally tell. It was like a time capsule. You can sense the urgency on the page. As if I wanted to get the information out of my brain before the window of opportunity closed. I dove in HARD with the silly humor and swearing and tried my best to get you amped up about the possibility of kicking anxiety’s ass. This book will still have those aspects that you know and love about the first one but in a more refined way. Feedback that I have gotten so far suggests that F**k Depression feels more mature and intentional. I am taking everything that I have learned through the process of putting the first book out there and crafting a book that I can be proud of. It will still make you laugh at me, at yourself, and at how ridiculous depression can be sometimes, but I also slow down a bit to dive deeper into issues that deserve to be understood. That means that instead of just telling you that there is a biological difference in people with depression and people who don’t have it, I will use the silly metaphor about two bar owners to explain how neurons in your brain talk to one another.
The book will still be exactly as long as it needs to be.
For F**k Anxiety, the short length of the book was pretty polarizing, especially when the print version was released. Some people loved that they could read in an hour or two and then get out there and start putting it to practice. Other’s felt like they were ripped off. My approach to writing is always that I write until I am finished saying what I want say and then leave it at that. I think a big problem, especially in the world of academic literature, is that extra nothingness is added into chapters to make them long enough or to make them feel more authoritative. I feel like if you really understand something, you should be able to explain it succinctly. THAT SAID, this next book about depression is likely going to be a bit longer than the first one. I am adopting the same philosophy of writing exactly what I want to say, but I’m taking my time and trying to be comprehensive with this one. Ideally, you read F**k Anxiety and you now trust that I know what I am talking about and will be ready to five a little deeper with me in F**k Depression. I will have a better idea in the next few months about an exact length, but you can expect it to be slightly longer.
It will be launching on all channels from the start.
My last book was a learning experience. I took it one step at a time and I was able to grow immensely as a content creator throughout the process. I started with the Kindle e-book. How crazy is it that any person can simply write something in Word and then upload it as a book on kindle within 48 hours? Insane. Well after that, I decided that I would love to give you the experience of hearing the book in my own voice- the way that it sounded in my head as I wrote it. That lead to me sitting in front of my computer and recording the audiobook version. Next, there was a demand for the print book. Apparently people still like to hold the literal pages in their hands. Weird, right? I learned that Amazon also has this awesome company called CreateSpace, which allows you to offer print on demand versions of your books. That means that I don’t need to hold an inventory and can still get physical books out to the people that want them. The coolest part of all of this is that each of these individual distribution channels continues to kick ass to this day. Just about the same number of people download the book, download the audiobook, or buy the physical book every month. That means that this time around, I will be launching each of those versions for F**k Depression from the start.
…And that’s the end of my word vomit! Thanks for checking out my random thoughts regarding my newest endeavor. I am SO excited to be entering into this period. If you would like to be updated as soon as the book is released, please sign up for my mailing list. I never spam you. If you sign up right now, you will automatically get access to a FREE chapter from F**k Depression called “Getting the Ball Rolling.” It’s about motivation, lack of pleasure, and doing it anyway. SIGN UP!!