I knew this day would come. I just didn’t know when. It’s like all those Hollywood overnight success stories that actually took months to happen. Like Harrison Ford building cabinets before becoming Han Solo, I labored anonymously for years in the entertainment world’s underbelly, waiting for my chance. And it finally came!
I know I haven’t been around much for the last few months. I had published my first book, so what was left for me to achieve in the world of writing?
Donald Trump’s ego finally did what no candidate or super PAC could do, and found a way to lose an election he should never have been part of in the first place. So there was no reason to engage in meaningful political dialogue (because I’m known for my winning personality and ability to make friends and influence people).
And let’s face it, with the economy booming, I finally got some work and voluntarily ended my Medium staycation, the cyber equivalent of sitting on the steps of the old neighborhood brownstone.
But now the moment has come and I couldn’t let it pass without giving a shout out to all the people who have made this accomplishment possible, while throwing in some mandatory humble bragging.
It’s a moment I have dreamed of, but never dared to mention as a real goal. Who was I kidding? Nobody would believe it. Or they would just think I’m some crazy old white dude with delusions of grandeur. (On the other hand, given the 2016 presidential campaign, maybe I’d just fit right in.)
But there it was, on my profile, in black and white — well, actually light grey, dark grey and white (but who pays attention to that kind of detail, besides writers, right?) — the magic words…
Just looking at that statistic warmed my heart. After all those countless refreshes, all the scheming and gaming of the system to get more hearts, the 12-step program, my failed recovery, and all my work counseling other writing addicts, I’ve finally reached that pinnacle of social media achievement. I’m now a hot shot internet celebrity, with all the benefits and temptions that go with it.
Can I walk away from it all, and eschew all the riches and adulation that come with this kind of power? Will I return to my humble zen space and continue to chop wood and carry water after enlightenment, as I did so faithfully before enlightenment?
Or will I clean out the breath mints from my local convenience store in preparation of all the groupies I will attract, just like in the good old days when I was an aspiring professional athlete. (Don’t worry, consent forms will be signed and issued to all parties involved before any activities may proceed. Hell, even my wife and her lawyer will get a copy!)
First, I’ve got to say thank you to my crew. It’s like that joke Obama made about Trumpism and the GOP: “They stood by while this happened, and Donald Trump as he’s prone to do, he didn’t build the building himself — he just slapped his name on it and took credit for it.”
I “wrote” two stories by quoting other people and posting it on Medium. No, you guys and gals are the real heroes behind my success. I didn’t build this. Nor should I pay any taxes on it. (Nor am I responsible for it, when the haters come out.)
Thanks to everyone who helped write The Grammar Games:
Michelle Stone, Morgan Rock Loehr, Gutbloom, Ellie Guzman, THOMAS BARTON JD, Jennifer Smith, Greg Gueldner, A McEnnis, Brad Decker, Graham Anderson, Dave Grigger, Elizabeth Hughes, Notorious DCI, Todd Hannula 🤓 , Lisa Robbie, Elliot Nichols, Victoria Easterday, and JoJo Magno.
And Thanks to everyone who helped write, edit, or track down other writers for The Tao of Blogging:
Randomly Me, dudemesticated, Victoria Easterday, Mike Essig, Zachariah Wahrer, alto, Michelle Stone, Justin Cox 🌮, Jeffrey Field, Francis Rourke, Gemma Kennedy, Tremaine L. Loadholt, Ernio Hernandez, Lisa Renee, Notorious DCI, Dave Grigger, DayLeeFix, Lizella Prescott, Peter A Slaughter, Alexainie, Sonny Bohanan, JoJo Magno, Pastry Plate, Teraisa, Sarah Williams, Jeannine Harris, KJ Harris, Ginny Callahan, Jennifer Brown, Gutbloom, Ellie Guzman, Ryan Hussey, Vincent Fulco, Insideout, David Graham, Todd Hannula 🤓, Braveen Kumar, Devon Henry, Jing Jing Li, Emilie Remiette Nérieux, Nerissa Naidoo, Letterwriter, Joel Leon., Sherry Caris, Thom Garrett, Luke Trayser, Rachel Thompson, Zac Chapepa 💫, Hassan S. Ali, Thaddeus Howze, and Denise Smith.
I also want to thank the small group of haters and lunatics who have come out of the woodwork to insult and threaten me. Without you there would be no real measure of my success and the power of my reach. (Unless, of course, if I were a woman, in which case every moron with an internet connection could still harass me on a constant basis, regardless of whether I was practically anonymous.)
Next, I have to thank the people whose writing got me through all the hard times that even entitled white guys go through, in spite of the mansions, private jets, and all those pink boxes of donuts: the funniest writers on Medium. And I can’t forget to give a shout out to my friend the hilarious julian rogers, whose belief that Lover Boy should be part of the Top Ten Cowbell Songs always makes me laugh.
You made it happen…
Finally, a huge thank you to all my followers. Unlike my good friends Gutbloom and Notorious DCI, my legions of fans are not populated by unfeeling robots. You’re all living, breathing people, with the exception of the Donald Trump robot account that began following me briefly, and that girl whose profile linked to male enhancement products. (You’d think Medium would do something about that, wouldn’t you?)
I know almost all of you are people because I have looked at your profiles. Each and every one of you. And not with the help of my friends at the NSA, or some artificial intelligence application which has started posting on Medium. No, I did it the good old fashioned way, by clicking on links and reading what you have written. I found many fantastic articles by people from everywhere and from every walk of life. Your shared experiences have opened up so many new perspectives. You are part of the reason I am not that guy.
So, as I play hookie for the first time since the summer, and get further behind my list of things to do, let me finish by saying how much you mean to me. I love you all, and couldn’t have done it without you!
Speaking of which, you’ll want to subscribe to my email newsletter for critical updates and bonus content here, my online webinar here, the seminar coming to your town soon here, and the series of books I’ve written here, here, here and here. I promise there will be no further commercial interruptions. (okay, I lied. Buy something here. Okay, I’m done.)
(To quote the brilliant Michael Chabon) Lon Shapiro is “a would-be sharp operator who lacked for the satisfaction of his ambition only the quality of sharpness and who expended all of his energies on preserving his opinions from contamination by experience.”