For The Daily Prompt: Impulse
This is a true story. I am not telling it to brag, but rather to make a point. Hopefully, this story will give other writers the courage they need to conquer their inner fears and get published. It is not only a story about acting on impulse; it is also a story about how transferring one’s passionate energy through an impulse can change one’s life forever.
It is not an example, but hopefully for others – a swift, kick in the butt.
The year was 1993. I was 36-years-old, a father of three, young children, a Union Carpenter and a locksmith in NYC. Me and my wife, who was a registered nurse, and our children were living comfortably. We already owned a home, a side business, two cars in the garage, a nice backyard pool and plenty of cash in the bank.
There was not much we were longing for – we basically had it all.
However, something was missing. There was this persistent feeling, deep down inside of me that was aching to come out. The feeling gnawed at me constantly, ever since I was a young kid, and was beginning to get stronger with each passing day.
It called to me like a hungry, wolf howling under a brightly-lit moon. It said to me, “Sit down and write. Grab a pen and a piece of paper and begin to write. Write about anything, but just keep on writing.”
So I did, then went out and bought a computer. Computers were much more difficult to use back then, but I quickly mastered the technique. It was not long before I became a command prompt, syntax-DOS-warrior, and a Wordperfect aficionado.
The problem, though, was what to write about. Even though I had been writing about all sorts of nonsense, since I was a kid, I did not know where to start. Of course, there were the beginnings, of all those novels and short stories, I had never finished, and of course the new ones I was planning to write in the future.
But that would take me too long. I wanted to write something fast, and have it published soon. I did not want to be an aspiring author anymore; I wanted to become a published and paid author.
All of a sudden a unique idea struck me – like a thunderbolt. Why not write about something I was good at and teach it to other people?
What a brilliant idea, huh?
Even though I was making good money working in the Carpenter’s Union, I wanted to do something else to earn extra money and have to fall back on in case I got laid off. So I had gone to night school and became a NYC Licensed Locksmith and started my own, small business in the basement of our home, and for the next five-years, in the daytime, I was a carpenter, and in the nighttime and on weekends, I was a locksmith.
That was it – I would write a book about Locksmithing, and why not? In the next few days I wrote out an amateurish book proposal and sent it to the biggest publishing firm in the country to get published.
The funny part was, though, that I did just that. I did some research and quickly learned how to write a book outline, a query, a book proposal and how to send it off to a publishing house.
I got the editor’s name, address, and boldly wrote on the front of the envelope, “McGraw-Hill Publishing Company,” blah…blah…blah…blah…blah. I sent it off then sat back and laughed to myself.
How brazen I truly was, and how naive to think that I could write a book and get it published.
Six-weeks later, I received a letter in the mail. It was from the McGraw-Hill Publishing Company. I opened it and read it with my heart pounding. Probably a rejection letter, I said to myself.
“Dear Mr. Rathjen. After reviewing your book proposal, we are pleased to inform you that we would be happy to enter into a publishing contract with you for your locksmithing book. Please see enclosed a copy of our standard, first-time, McGraw-Hill, author’s contract.”
My heart stopped beating then raced wildly. Was I dreaming? Was I really going to get published?
Yes, I was, and then after that I would get 3-more books published and all within a few years time-frame.
Impulse – it can be a wonderful thing, and it can be the catalyst for dragging a writer out of the shadows and into reality.
By the way, that book is still selling after 19-years later of which I still get 2-royalty checks each year.
So do not ever let someone tell you that acting on impulse is a bad thing.
Sometimes, acting on impulse is just what you need to jump start a career and fulfill your dream.
Joseph E. Rathjen is a freelance writer, book author, blogger and an Opinion Writer at 1World Online – America’s Fastest Growing Social Research Engine.
Trackbacks and Pingbacks:
- A Supposedly Fun Thing I Should Never Have Done in the First Place | AS I PLEASE
- Tea for two | The Bliss of Reality
- I Did Something Crazy | Lifestyle | WANGSGARD
- On being yourself | Attempted Human Relations and Self
- A Watermark, a Ford Falcon and a Creative Commons License walk into an alley… | Greg Urbano
- This Daily Prompt Is For Men Only & My Short Story For The Day | The Jittery Goat
- impulse | yi-ching lin photography
- the city is an | y
- Daily Prompt: Let’s go Crazy! | Raevenly Writes
- Unlucky | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
- Comrades | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
- DP Daily Prompt: Let’s Go Crazy | Sabethville
- Caramel Filled Chocolates | Miss Spicy Hat N’ Sugar Socks
- Wild Woman: let’s go crazy! | ALIEN AURA’S BlOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
- Let’s go with this. I suck at being impulsive. | thoughtsofrkh
- One Crazy Mom » Things I’m Crazy For
- THE WORST DECISION | SERENDIPITY
- Friday Flash – Impulse | My Little Avalon
- Time for some Kitchen Dancing! | MamaMickTerry
- Crazy for Thinking I Could Change Him Prayers and Promises
- Around The World | swiggityswag
- Venturing Beyond the Comfort Zone | snapshotsofawanderingheart
- The Convenience of Paradise | the intrinsickness
- IMPULSE | dandelionsinwind
- Excavating… | Haiku By Ku
- Women’s days and craziness | Sue’s Trifles
- “Let’s Go Crazy” | Relax
- comfort in my crazy | peacefulblessedstar
- “Sleep on it” | Hope* the happy hugger
- Daily Prompot: Let’s go crazy – African Style | The Pink Cucumber
- Dream Job | Why is there bread in my Kool-Aid?
- The Drive | Kate Murray
- Crazy Train? No, Crazy Bike | Cancer Isn’t Pink
- What Do You See? The Forest or the Trees? | meanderedwanderings
- Daily Prompt: Let’s Go Crazy | Awl and Scribe
- Walking Over There | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
- Welcome to the Machine | Rob’s Surf Report
- Bad idea | A picture is worth 1000 words
- spur | A beetle with earrings
- What Have I Done? | Flowers and Breezes
- let’s go crazy | klstar2000
- “Is that Girl WALKING?” – Daily Prompt | Bits & Pieces
- Daily Prompt: Let’s Go Crazy, 07.03.14 | Markie’s Daily Blog
- Fallen fancy | shame
- no direction home, a complete unknown | eastelmhurst.a.go.go
- Daily Prompt: Let’s Go Crazy | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
- Daily Prompt: Being Impulsive! | All Things Cute and Beautiful
- I Dropped Out of Grad School To Become a Missionary
- Time for a little daydream.. | Raspberry’s Daydreams
- Impulse | The Land Slide Photography
- Taming Kittens | Real Life Co.
- Out of My Mind….(wp daily prompt) | Daily Observations
- Stark Raving Love | Black Ink Pink Desk
- Losing Money on an Impulse | A mom’s blog
- Daily Prompt: Let’s Go Crazy | Really Random Musings
- Think Before You… Oh Wait, Too Late. | meg lago
- Growing up a nomad, I always had a “go” bag ready for spontaneity, and possible (yet fashionable) zombie apocalypse « psychologistmimi
- I Broke The Projector…SSShhh Don’t Tell Anyone! | Life Confusions
- Reflecting on my Magic Kingdom Internship | The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project”
- Meanwhile, on a Mountain Top… | Green Embers
- I’m # 1 (or What happens when you like your own WP Post) | Altared Egos
- The Road Calls | Random Words
- Impulse – The Daily Prompt
- Is it crazy to go against society’s expectations? | A New Life Wandering
- Hawaiian Paradise | Jaspa’s Journal
- One Decision that Changed My Life Course | Schizo Incognito
- Musings: A Little Crazy… | Mirth and Motivation
- Gone Sailing
- Impulse Control: The Price of Not Following my Own Advice | Bullshit-Free Zone
- Going too crazy! | Trucker Turning Write
- What Not to Confess to the Person You’ve Been Dating For 3.5 Weeks | Kosher Adobo
- Let’s Go Crazy – Ramblings from the Swamp
- Daily Prompt: impulse | That Montreal Girl
- Stories From My Mind
- Slow-Burning Impulse | Serial Distractions
- Shepherding in Europe | tuckedintoacorner
- The Things We Do At Conferences…. | RePrEsSeD ExPrEsSiOnS
- Quite possibly the craziest thing I’ve ever done! | browney237’s Blog
- Crazy for Thinking I Could Change Him
- Impulse Souveniring | djgarcia94
- Impulse. Maybe. ~ Daily Prompt | joannebest
- Crazy trips | Life is great
- Daily Prompt: Let’s Go Crazy – “Dance & Band” | A Midnight Blog
- A lesser-known hamster habit (Daily Prompt: “Let’s Go Crazy, Show Us Impulse”) | Photo0pal Photography
- Daily Prompt: Impulse | Lady K’s Lounge
- Keeps On Giving | Wiley’s Wisdom
- The Blog Farm | Musings: A Little Crazy…
- Daily Prompt 03072014: Let’s Go Crazy | Annie, are you OK?
- Daily Prompt: Let’s Go Crazy | Basically Beyond Basic
- Daily Prompt: Let’s Go Crazy | Nola Roots, Texas Heart
- Acting on impulse | Willow’s Corner
- Tradesmen’s Crossing | aliabbasali
- The way out, the waterway | Le Drake Noir
- If I could be anywhere | Fonts and Frosting
- [M.M.X.I.V. 67] Elevators | Never A Worry