Justified Narcissism

“So, what does it feel like to search for your name on Amazon and see your book appear in the results?”

A coworker asked me that the other day, and he’s not the first. 

I struggle with how to answer. Part of me is of course elated, proud, and satisfied at the sense of accomplishment. Not to the Swift is available on Kindle and in paperback. People (other than me) have bought copies. 

Like far too many fledgling writers, part of me fears my writing is rubbish and everyone knows it but me. Their questions are part of a joke that all my coworkers are in on. “If you need a laugh, ask Dave about what it’s like to be an ‘author.'” Hilarity ensues.


Dropping off the signed copy after work. If this is all a joke, I might as well have fun with it. And the $10 bill at least isn’t funny money.
Then again, most of the comments I’ve received are positive… or at least constructive criticism couched in an overall encouraging approach, the necessary bitter medicine hidden beneath a spoonful of sugar. I’m slowly building my confidence that what I’m writing is worth reading, and that’s a lovely feeling.
This week I stopped at a store with my teenage daughter. I checked the arts and crafts store (so called) here on base, then tried the main exchange–essentially a department store. The object of my search: a silver ink pen for signing printed copies.

Is that nauseating arrogance? Unmerited wishful thinking? Wasteful frivolity? A harmless confidence booster? 

I feel justified in that I already had a few coworkers tell me they want a printed copy signed by the author. And my wife ordered her own copy for me to sign simply for the thrill of ordering my book off Amazon. So if I’m going to leave a mark in someone’s book, I want to do it with a personal touch.

I settled on a silver gel pen and a metallic blue. I stashed the gold and green pens as well for funsies. My daughter claimed the rest of the set for her own artistic uses.


The first signed copy for someone without the same last name as mine.
A couple years ago or so, I started my author page on Facebook based on a presentation at our local writers’ group about building platforms online. (I haven’t followed all the advice, and I certainly haven’t built a platform worthy of recognition. But I have had the privilege of interacting with all sorts of interesting people, some of whom are even willing to read my blog ramblings. Thank you so much for the interaction and connection.)

One of my coworkers ribbed me, and declared of the author page, “This is one of the most wonderfully narcissistic things I’ve ever seen. I love it!” 

He might be right. I’m not sure how to feel about all these new experiences. I’m just enjoying the ride, self-centered though it may be.

I look forward to signing a printed copy of my upcoming fantasy epic for him. 

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