tl;dr – you can read Chapter One HERE and you can become a member HERE.

If you had asked me at 20 years old what I would be “when I grew up,” I would have looked you dead in the eye and said, “I’m going to be a writer.”

No, that’s not quite right. That’s what I would have thought in my head. I never had the courage to articulate that out loud to anyone outside my most intimate circle of family and friends. I would have thought it, but I would have deflected the question and started telling you a story that would have made you forget the question in the first place.

You see, this is what perfectionism looks like. If you never actually put yourself on the hook, there’s always – always – something that could be improved so that you can withhold your work until it’s “ready.”

Seth Godin says that art can only happen when you make something that might fail and give it to the world anyway.

Here, I made this for you.

I began writing Pennhollow ten years ago. Strike that. I began writing the words of Pennhollow ten years ago; this book has been percolating in my head in various forms for twenty years. I haven’t been writing it because making it real means it might not be as good as it is in my head.

Nearly dying, having an organ transplant, and basically coming back to life after having the equivalent of early-onset Alzheimers has a way of shifting your perspective. I started writing again in earnest in May of this year, after the altMBA kicked my ass. But then I ran into an even bigger mindfuck.

What if this works? What if the result is a success? That thought stopped me dead in my tracks. I didn’t know what to make of this, as it had never occurred to me.

This is Resistance in the Pressfield sense. (You have read The War of Art, right?) And Resistance is an able, if dirty, foe.

So, I’ve decided to go pro.

Against every instinct in my body, I’m inviting you into the book-writing process. Here’s why: if any of you are crazy enough to pay to get access to this site, I will feel an obligation to do the work. I am inviting accountability.

I am asking you to put me on the hook. And it is terrifying.

Perhaps in hopes of disincentivizing you, I’m not making membership cheap. It’s more than the price of a hardback book, but it’s not going to make me any real money. I just want to ensure that you want to be here.

Here’s what you’ll get access to:

    • The book as it’s being written. This is crazy. I’m talking the Shitty First Draft, pre-editing. The stuff I’m afraid to read aloud to my dogs.
    • Running commentary from me about the writing process. This might be discussions about characters, thoughts about scenes – or it may just be thoughts about writing in general. I don’t know yet, but it’ll be regular – I’d guess 3 times a week, in addition to the book itself.
    • Maybe some community with other folks? I anticipate this being a tiny group. I’m going to keep comments open.
    • A very strange, one-man version of the Stanford prison experiment.
    • This first membership level – Boppers (the nomenclature will make sense as you begin reading) – will be a lifetime membership. Maybe this book works and I go on to write the other four in this world I already have outlined. Maybe there will be messageboard prestige to being a Bopper! Man, I sound ridiculous.
    • When the book is published, whether it’s by Knopf or my own self-publishing imprint, you will receive a free first edition inscribed with a personal message to you.

So, without further ado, you can become a Bopper by completing the form at this link.

Lest you think I am totally out of my mind, you can find the entire first chapter HERE if you’d like to get a sense as to whether this is your cup of tea at all.