How to Crowdsource Book-Writing Ideas

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I've wanted to write one for as long as I can remember. I think it's time to try. Please help.
I’ve wanted to write one for as long as I can remember. I think it’s time to try. Please help.

I’m going to die.

I could be well over halfway to the end as I sit here and type. And I’m such a time-waster and procrastinator.

The hourglass—my hourglass—is always spilling from top to bottom. When it’s full, I’m gone.

Might be today.

I must never forget this.

That this might be the last post I ever write.

I want to think about it when I’m hugging my son. When a pretty girl is smiling back at me. When I’m surrounded by my family. By my friends.

I don’t want to live in fear. Or be scared or paralyzed by the morbidity of all of this.

I just want to be mindful of our precious time. To capitalize on all this world has to offer.

To live.

Because if I knew I had a week to live, I would do everything different.

So, why doesn’t knowing I MIGHT only have a week to live incite action within me?

Because I take things for granted, probably. Because the law of averages suggests I have more time.

Even if that’s true, I’m going to regret so much on my deathbed, all of my wasted, do-nothing moments.

It’s Time

If not now, when?

What am I waiting for?

I’m just scared. Really scared.

It’s time to write a book.

I’ve been blogging less than nine months. But the data sample is large enough and the evidence is clear: People care about personal, human, honest stories. And they REALLY care about their marriages, or their relationships with boyfriends or girlfriends.

It didn’t take me long to see the truth.

It doesn’t matter whether you live in Malaysia or South Africa or New Zealand or Spain or Korea or Canada or the United Kingdom, or here in the United States.

You love.

And you want to be loved.

That’s what we all do.

That’s what we all want.

Human relationships and all of the joy and sadness and anger and ecstasy and heartache and connection and brokenness that comes along with them affect each and every one of us. All seven billion.

There’s no market cap on the real gritty human being stuff that goes on within our minds, hearts and souls.

I always thought you had to be an expert to write non-fiction.

That’s another lie that so many of us believe.

You don’t have to be an expert. Because without asking the question, or having any way of finding an answer, I KNOW that all those well-read therapists and psychologists who are considered experts on marriage and family and relationships deal with the exact same bullshit we do.

No one is immune or safe from the human condition.

I am an expert.

And so are you.

I’ve written a series of posts titled An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands. There are six of them. Some are poorly excuted. Others are decent.

They are the only blog posts I’ve written which have been organically shared by hundreds of people to their friends and family on Facebook and Twitter outside of this WordPress bubble.

And I think I understand why.

I think I’ve written about something that millions of people fully understand and can relate to.

And I think I’m sort of uncomfortably right about most of it.

Families break apart and children lose their security—their entire worlds—because two adults who just three or five or ten years ago swore before God, friends and family that they would love each other forever, but now can’t take it anymore.

It’s so bad they are willing to lose half or more of their children’s childhood. They’re willing to sacrifice their comfortable routines. Their homes. Financial security. Friends. Entire families.

Because the person they loved above all others became the bane of their existence.

And for what? So we can go try again with someone else and figure out it’s the exact same shit with EVERY person on Earth?

Surprise! We’re all human beings!

It’s a big secret, I guess. But I don’t want it to be. Because I don’t think there has to be this much brokenness.

And—Lord, forgive me if this sounds vain—I think I can help. Not everyone. Not even a lot of people.

But maybe just one.

Because I don’t think the average man is ever going to read Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus. I don’t think they’re going to read The Five Love Languages. I don’t think they’re going to read my favorite—How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It.

And that’s great.

Because maybe they’ll read something I write.

Because I’d like to write something accessible to the average guy out there.

Guys just like me. Making the same mistakes as me. As well-intentioned as me, but maybe without the knowledge and tools to make it work.

Not because they’re not good enough. Not because they’re not smart enough. Not because they’re not strong enough.

But just because their toolboxes didn’t have the right stuff for the job.

I’m not cocky enough to believe I can help everyone.

But what if there’s one?

What if one family makes it because I spent some months writing a book? What if one guy reads it, and it just makes sense to him and he changes his life?

Isn’t that worth it? Even if it’s just a fool’s dream?

Of course it is.

I Need Your Help

I’ve never written anything longer than a couple-thousand words before.

I have no idea what I’m doing.

But I also believe I can do this. And that’s the first step.

My Questions for You

1. If you’ve been following along for a while, can you share what post topics you’ve read here that you consider meaningful enough to include? Ideas to expand upon. To research more. To potentially interview people about.

2. How long should a book be that we actually want men to read? As everyone paying attention knows, I’m entirely too wordy. When do we hit TL;DR status?

3. I will never repurpose a blog post in its entirety. That feels like cheating. But I am wondering to what extent I can use existing content (There are more than 250,000 words on this blog. The average book is about 75,000 or so, I think.) to help supplement the project and serve as the framework. What percentage of a book do you think is acceptable to supplement with previously written-about ideas?

4. Do you think this is a stupid idea?

5. What am I not thinking about, or what do you think I should be considering?

6. Would you think me an asshole if I scaled back on my posting frequency here in order to put more time into that?

7. Is this even remotely interesting to you? It’s okay to say no. In fact, I’m begging you to if you feel that way.

8. Do you think because I’m a divorced guy that failed at marriage that I’m in over my head trying to write a book like this? Or do you think it makes me the right guy for the job?

9. Do you ever wonder how long you have to live, and ask yourself why the hell you’re waiting to do something you really want to do?

10. I love you. Seriously.

The end is where we begin.
It’s crawling back, when
We run away, run away.
‘Cause the end is where we begin.
Where broken hearts mend
and start to beat again.
The end is where we begin.

­— Thousand Foot Krutch

88 thoughts on “How to Crowdsource Book-Writing Ideas”

  1. Two things:

    People are going to bash you for having an opinion, hence bashing your experiences with any given situation, but those who bash you are just jealous.

    You have written something than a couple thousand words. This blog is work. It’s art. It’s you. Each post is over a thousand words. You don’t have to add the posts up. It’s infinitely great. Technically, you can publish your entries as a “book.”

    It has been a fantastic book to read, by the way.

    1. Thank you, Chris.

      I know that once I escape the WordPress bubble, the criticism will be much more harsh.

      Comes with the territory. Thank you for liking this stuff. It means a lot.

  2. I think you forgot to use the strikethrough font for #4. Oh, AND #6. As for #8 You are the right guy for the job. And use your material. Without giving it a whole lot of thought, what about using your open letters to shitty husbands as a framework and flesh those out? 2 cents from me.

    Oh. Love you too, man.

    1. 🙂

      Thank you, Maggie! I’ll have to go back and see to which numbers you’re referring. I appreciate the encouragement very much.

  3. You already know…down in the deep place you write from, you know. Just write it. It’s dharma. <3

  4. I have followed you for a while and the best I remember, my memory is not too good, are your letters to the shitty husbond, as I think will be a great introduction to your book.

    1. Thank you very much, Irene. The ideas and personal anecdotes living inside those will be at the very heart of what I put together.

      1. Your letters hit very hard, I think. In the good way, because you write about your own mistakes and don’t accuse anyone else.
        I’m looking forward to see, what you will come up with.
        Good luck Matt.

  5. completelyinthedark

    First question, Matt: Have you reached out to online publications like Slate or Huffington Post? (or many others?) Reason I ask is you could take your “Open Letter to Shitty Husbands” and propose to them a syndicated column. Get paid through them. THEN seek out agents and publishers with a book proposal that ties in the work you’ve done here and the wider audience you’d get through syndication.

    Publishers would look at your audience numbers and, dollars to doughnuts, bet you’d get a sweet advance on a book you’re already on the road to writing. I can just tell you’d be a natural at it.

    cheers, Mike

    1. I’m not very good at the whole self-promotion thing. I don’t really like the whole “Look at me, I’m writing and at somehow more important than the millions of other writers out there.”

      Because it’s not more important. It might not even be as important.

      Here’s what I think I know: If it’s good, people will read it and share it.

      If anyone ever approached me from a publishing house, I’d listen. But I never even think about that.

      I was thinking more like going this route:

      1. completelyinthedark

        Reading James Altucher’s Choosing Yourself, now! Wow. What an inspiring guy. It’s really speaking to where I’m at just now, Matt.

        And re: your self-publish plan, you’re right. I’m thinking old school and old school is going the way of the dinosaur.

        Thanks for the link! cheers mate, MM

        1. You’re reading James!!! Awesome. I seriously love that guy so much. He’s great. Love the way he writes and the way he thinks. No one has influenced me more than him.

          I was NOT trying to insult or dismiss your suggestion. I appreciate it so much. I just think I’m going to try to this way because I want to avoid the gatekeepers. My guess is some really amazing books have never seen the light of day because of the old system.

          Just feels like another way to experience rejection. And I don’t like that feeling.

          I’m so happy you’re reading Altucher and that you like it. Makes me smile. If you haven’t already, sign up to have his blog posts emailed to you.

          He’s the very best. Appreciate you, sir.

  6. This could be a great book.

    Before you write it, you need to ask yourself if the way to succeed in marriage is knowing how to treat that one person correctly?
    Or is the key being a good husband first to be a sensitive and caring individual, who takes care of peoples’ feelings in general? If this isn’t a muscle that needs to be worked all around, so it can work in a marriage.

    That’s how I’ve always felt. Probably now more than ever.

    1. We’ve talked before about how important it is to make women feel safe. I pray you’ll be willing to have more of those conversations with me because THAT’s the stuff that can help a man be a better man.

  7. Great Idea!

    3. Use as much of Your blog content as you like, include your best posts
    4. No!
    6. No, use your blog to test portions of your book as it unfolds
    7. Yes
    8. You’re qualified, go for it
    9. Almost every day

    Awhile back you posted something about what kind of book you should write (and then listed a few options) perhaps start one of each and pursue the one that occupies your mind.

    1. Thank you so much, Bryan. It will be interesting to see how it all comes together. Organization will be very important.

  8. I’m going to think about these, indulge my methodical-ness, analyze…My gut reaction is, “Yes.” But that’s a too small answer for me.

    But, if you’ll indulge me, and it feels like this is what you’re asking, I’ll do a tedious ponder and reply my thoughts when I’ve mulled them the way I like. Just tell me when it’s enough, or if it’s in the wrong direction.

      1. I’m glad I thought before I wrote, I’m not a dude, and your heart is telling you to write a book for dudes, and I also love a lot of what everyone else is telling you, but I do have two cents to give.

        There are a ton of resources and opinions, here are two with links to more links:

        My opinion, find and utilize the opinions that support yours. There’s going to be 7.5 billion opinions, none of them matter more than yours. Success is a combination of passionate, unrelenting determination and luck. Though fortune favors the bold, your determination, yourself, as you always write, is the only thing you can control.

        That’s to say, gather your resources, prune what doesn’t work for you, cultivate what does, and re-evaluate as you go.

        Expect failure and criticism…

        1. The ones that come from the heart.
        2. Irrelevant
        4. No, brilliant actually
        5. It’ll be at times a seemingly impossible and pointless thing while also the most rewarding which will reveal more to you about yourself and your purpose than you can imagine. Even if the book never happens or effects any positive change, you will find the thing that does. In sum, remain open in the face of everything that tells you to shut down.
        6. No. Take care of yourself first, because if you don’t, your post will reflect your need, and I want to read things and you want to write things that give to me.
        7. Sorry, I’d hoped to make this all not so long, but, yes it’s important to me. I have two sons, I have an ex who’s their father, I have a daughter who will marry a dude, and I have myself who hopes to have love again, which is to say the world needs good men and good men need help becoming their best selves. This interest me greatly.
        8. I trust opinions that come from redemption. Any self righteous pretentious ass who’s never F’ed up can tell me how stupid I am. But the stupid F’ up who says to me, I hear you lady, been there done that, now let’s get out of this muck together. Humility and experience speaks to the shame of failure better than any smart ass.
        9. I used to, but we’re getting too old for that, aren’t we? The clock is ticking.
        10. I love you too! Now write!

  9. 1) Your blog is a good start, I have not read it all to speak to specific content. You know it best. It’s a journey, share your journey. Make sure we can laugh at ourselves. Don’t bum me out as a reader. I should cry at least once. And after reading it I should want to tell another human being that “they have to read it” as I jab the book in their hand.

    2) It should be shorter than a Stephan King novel.

    3) Use your blog as your outline. Re-write with the benefit of time and newfound perspective. It’s not cheating. If you feel like you have to start from scratch than why bother – either that means your blog is garbage (it’s not) or you don’t know what you want to write about (you do though).

    4) it’s not a dumb idea.

    5) consider that men need to know this stuff BEFORE they get married or have kids. Once we’re married and have kids the cow’s out of the barn and you have two choices: be miserable and divorced or be miserable and married…or the third choice which is happy and married (which is the purpose or your book)…or I suppose happy and divorced….god there really are a lot of options….maybe I’ll write one of the other books….Also how do preconceived social norms play into it? What is love and how does it factor? Living means aspects of people change over time…..Etc. Etc.

    6) You’re in charge, do what makes you happy. You’re readers won’t divorce you. (well some will but you didn’t need them anyway).

    7) There are 7 billion people out there, you only need to interest a few hundred thousand…maybe a million if you’re an over achiever. I would find it interesting. The title and cover art would have to be good though. Just saying.

    8) You’re the right guy for the job. You said it yourself, we all are experts and have a story. Tell yours. People will listen. Even if they don’t (which they will) it’s a form of art – art is what makes us human. Your book needs to exist.

    9) Every day. You have no idea.

    10) We love you. In a “goto the bar, have a beer and eat chicken wings way” (but now you’re writing a book, so you have no time for any of us….)

    1. I love this comment. It’s thoughtful. It’s thorough. And there are amazing points in here–namely–we want to reach younger people if there’s any chance of helping.

      You can’t know how much I appreciate the insight here. Super valuable. Thank you so much.

  10. My Answers for You, Matt:

    1. I just recently discovered your blog, so I can’t say I have a full overview about all your topics. Yet, if you would ask for my advice I would suggest that you write about the topic that is closet to your heart and that you can be most authentic about – because that is what I personally prefer to read about in general and from my observations I don’t seem to be the only one. (That topic probably also scares you most – that’s at least what I am noticing a lot with my own projects in my personal experience)
    What about your “Open Letters to a Shitty Husband”? – I guess you mentioned them for a reason…?!

    2. I am sure there are people who can answer this. – I, however, have no clue. Sorry.

    3. Even if you would build your whole book on the existing content of your blog it would still a huge amount of work to bring things together in a way that it becomes a book, as books work totally differently than blog posts. So, I don’t see a problem even if you base the whole book on purely on topics of your blog.

    4. I think it’s an awesome idea.

    5. Good question. I have no answer to that, though.

    6. I would see it as inspiration. And I would probably enjoy to follow along and see the growth that comes from a wonderful project like this.

    7. I’m finding this interesting for two reasons:
    One: I am always interested in creative projects like that – and love the inspiration which comes from that for my own path.
    Two: My parents are divorced twice and my own path to a healthy relationship was long and full of rocks. So, yes, I do have a personal interest in topics like that.
    Also: There are so many books and groups that are mainly frequented by women. I would love it if men had the same options to find support in a way that works for them.

    8. I think you know what you are talking about. And in my personal experience people who know what they are talking about have more expertise to share than some of the so called experts. (Of course there are some really competent “experts”, also.)
    Besides, if you feel that it is time to write that book, then the world is waiting for you to do it.

    9. Absolutely. Actually I am in the midst of big changes, myself – because I choose to allow myself to be whom I really want to be instead of waiting for – heck, what are we waiting for?!!!

    10. Much love to you, too.

    Hope this is of support for you in some way.

    Oh, and I absolutely agree with Kerry: Breathing is always good medicine!


    1. Thank you for your thoughtful and kind answers, Steffi.

      I appreciate your time and interest very much.

  11. Could it be issued as standard when blokes but their engagement rings? It’d be great if men realised that they can be arseholes, even when they’re essentially nice at heart. You could save a lot of marriages.
    I think you should go for it!!! You’ve got a lovely open style that touches the heart. I can definitely imagine a book with your name on it.

    1. Thank you so much for saying that. It will only be useful if guys will read it, and if the content is legitimately helpful.

      I don’t have those answers yet. 🙂

  12. I’m not going to answer all the questions, I’m just going to to say, as Nike: Just do it!

    And good luck!

    I know there are issues with using blog posts in books, but with the editing and revising that you will do, you are bound to make a lot of changes, and although the core of the blog post remain intact, the end result will probably look pretty different from the blog.

    1. Thank you. I intend to.

      I don’t want to lean to heavily on the blog for words and sentences.

      But I’m pretty sure I’ll use post topics and the following conversations for inspiration.

      We’ll see. Appreciate your feedback very much.

      1. During my short career in the academic world, the time constraints and the limited funding made it difficult to conduct new research all the time, so we were always requested to make use of existing data, again and again. Reports and articles could be published and re-published as old wine in new bottles, with only minor changes on the label. But when it comes to blogs and to fiction there are other rules, apparently. Many magazines and newspapers, and certainly publishing houses, consider blogs to be published and over and done with, and only consider new wine in new bottles.

        We shouldn’t forget the awesome vintages though…sometimes there are treasures to be found.

        You have developed your voice through the blog, don’t lose it in the process of going from WordPress to the print.

  13. Matt, just do it. Write that book!
    I send love to you, you are brave, you are great, if people don’t like it they don’t buy it, big deal.
    What if you change one mans life, or one wife from leaving her husband because he read your book. That would be worth it. Write keep blogging if you can, publish your book, then continue blogging.
    I’ll share and like and maybe love some of it. Lol
    I really like the blog about being nice just isn’t good enough. Expand on that, please. Or just write whats in your heart to write, you already know.
    Good luck! I would love a signed copy to share with all my man friends.

    1. Thank you for your suggestion. That post was pretty relevant for the guys I think are reachable. By reachable, I mean guys who care. That has to be the baseline for having a healthy relationship. That desire has to be there. I’ve had so many ah-ha moments over the past two or three years. It would be such a treat to be able to share those with guys who deserve to keep their families, or young men wanting to get it right the first time.

      Thank you so much for your support. 🙂

  14. Matt, you already know what I think. I’ve harped enough. I’ll let these guys answer your points because I’m just too tired. And I agree with so much of what other people had to say above.

    Re: reaching the younger crowd… I already told you, just put half dressed women drinking beer on the cover. Young men will totally pick up that book!!

    All kidding aside, you are the guy for this job because you get it. With such intensity that it’s often awe-inspiring. Follow your heart, friend. It is a good one, and you should listen to it often.

  15. Starting any big new project is scary but that adds to the fun and excitement of it.
    I agree with who ever it was that mentioned seeking out some of the main stream blogs like the Huffington Post. Even if you didn’t use that as a stepping stone for the writing/publishing it would be great for publicity. You could write the best, most helpful book ever but if nobody knows about it what good is it?
    If you write what you know, keep it at least somewhat humorous, and relate able it’ll be good. And, like someone else said, shorter than a Stephen King novel…less death than a George RR Martin would be good too.

  16. I have enjoyed your humor so if you do intend to write make it humorous , it is more difficult to write comedy then you think. Why don’t you refine the six blogs about the shitty husbands and publish a small book first . The next thing you can write about is a fictional character and make it about you your growing up years, your dates your success failures. Yes i would be disappointed if you posted less here but if that’s what you got to do then do it. You can make this a once a week blog no issue just don’t disappear completely.

    1. It will be hard enough for me to revert to an every other day post. I can’t just go to once a week. And I most certainly don’t plan to disappear.

      The tone of the book would be the only one I know: Me. Sometimes people think that’s funny and I would do my best to keep all of those elements in place.

      I’m thinking a lot about how I want to structure this. Making notes and hitting down ideas. We’ll see what happens. I like winging it much more than planning. So this is something outside my comfort zone on several levels.

  17. I”m not a “long time follower” either but I found you the day I started blogging myself. You were on some board leaving a comment on a very graceful (and clever) way to bring up past blog posts without blatantly reposting them. I loved your idea. I went to your blog. It was love at first sight there, too. Matt – – You will do this. We all need you to. But it can become all-consuming. What personality type are you? Can you do things in moderation or do you throw yourself in hook, line, and sinker? I’ve self-published (years ago before it was the “thing to do”) and my novel found its own little niche (among pregnant women wanting daughters — you’d be surprised how many) and still sells in dribs and drabs today. The self-promotion that is required to make a real go of it is absurd. I thought “if it’s well-written, word of mouth will do it” but other published authors corrected me on that assumption. So I relented and succumbed to book signings and speaking at ladies book clubs (I am shy as a mouse) and absolutely detested that part of it. You can hire someone to do that piece of things for you, but it kinda, sorta does need to happen. So ironic – – writers are a group of people who innately like their privacy and prefer to communicate through written words. After writing a book, they would do well to become gregarious and verbal, but few find that comes naturally. I didn’t. I went back to writing for myself. If you don’t care about any of this, (and just know you intrinsically want to write for “that one guy” out there) then things will be fine. I just wish someone would have given me the heads up (before I began) because I possibly would have approached my project differently.

    I was quite excited to read your post today!!!!

    1. Thank you so much, Stephanie. There’s a lot of good advice there. And a lot of important things to think about which are consistent with other things I’ve heard and read. I really appreciate you sharing.

  18. I don’t have enough publishing experience to say anything more sage than Go For It! I think you’ve go lots of things worth saying, and the more people that hear them the better.

  19. You should absolutely do this.
    I think the Letters to a Shitty Husband resonated the most with people in general, and The Day the Music Died is what hooked me. Powerful stuff.
    I also have to say, and I know you’ve said you don’t aim to be a comedian, you are very funny when you want to be. You shouldn’t ignore that aspect of your talent!
    Your writing has become a part of my daily routine. To me that means you would have no trouble holding a reader for the duration of a novel.
    Bottom line: I think you will eat yourself alive with regret if you don’t try this. re #9

    And I will leave you with my favorite Japanese saying:
    Fall down seven times, stand up eight.

    Love, ~K

  20. Do it. The younger generations that you could be helping need it… it’s how I found your popular posts! Divorced men and women need also it – to help them grow and understand everything that you’ve learned (I don’t think people learn the knowledge you have as easily as you have – many divorcees are left pretty bitter). I’ve read many relationship/marriage topic related books (used to work at a bookstore 🙂 ) and I’ve never seen something that even remotely reminds me of your blogging style… you combine the hilarious with the serious, people generally love that!!!

    Use your target audience for focus & motivation (it’s what I do in my blog)… you’re writing to people who grew up with failed or unhappy marriages, blended families, two-parents working with their children in daycare or in a slew of extra-curricular activities… people who are desperately seeking connection and great relationships, but have no idea how to keep them. They understand sex completely, but usually can’t put connection and sex together long-term, or imagine a marriage remaining sexy in the long-run.

    Interview ideas would be asking people from gen Y what they think of as far as marriage. You’ll get some pretty depressing thoughts… a lot are foregoing the idea altogether, which in the longrun, what does that mean for society when the family unit falls apart? It’s already been falling apart…. Interview couples who actually enjoy their marriage, see what works and what didn’t for them – there are bound to be some simple key elements.

    Use your blog content in quotes or excerpts as you expand more deeply in the chapter on particular case studies (your interviews) and extra points you’ve complied nicely together to bring it neatly in.

    These are all just suggestions 🙂 hope it inspires you!

    1. They are awesome suggestions. I hadn’t thought about interviewing long-married couples and looking for reoccurring patterns in their answers. Awesome idea.

      Thank you so much for contributing.

  21. uneffingbelievable

    Matt, I believe this book could actually change people’s lives and marriages. I think you should use your Letters as the opening for each “chapter” of the book. Print the letter then expound upon each one with some research, etc.

    This book should be marketed to women as well as men. Women sell themselves short in marriage. They (we) need to learn how to not let our marriages become parent/child relationships. Women need to stop picking up all the slack and allow (require) their husbands to be an integral part of child-rearing and home management. I think when this isn’t done, it breeds resentment. And resentment is the slow death of all marriages. A book like this should be required reading for all engaged couples!

    Maybe the last chapter could be about finding happiness and fulfillment is the small things. We are bombarded with messages about excitement and adventure all the time (Ashley Madison, anyone?) that tend to breed discontent and can make us restless. Social media makes everyone think they are rock stars, and really? Most of us are ordinary. We are on this planet a short time and instead of looking for the next empty thrill, we should be doing our jobs as spouses and parents.

    I will be first in line at your book signing!

    1. Yes. To so much of this. Yes.

      Thank you for believing I have something worthwhile to say. I hope I can deliver.

    1. Yes! I have no idea why it did that. But it made me laugh. And then you made me laugh again! Thank you! 🙂

  22. Be you, like you are here on the blog, and everyone will want to read it. Don’t get too caught up in needing to be “researchy” or “the interviewer” – those just are distractions. Tell your story and the world will learn what they want to learn.
    AND I just realized that I’m actually talking to myself… ai yi yi. Ok, so I will too. 🙂

  23. I think that your letters to shitty husbands would make a really nice, short, readable, doable book. You impart very sage advice in those letters. Do you have any more of them in you?

    1. I haven’t specifically thought of more. But the thinking has been that there will be more. There is a never ending list of areas in which we can learn to be better versions of ourselves and better partners.

      I don’t know that I’m right about any of that stuff. But I certainly think it’s an important conversation to be having. Appreciate your thoughts! 🙂

  24. If you feel a book within you, then by all means write it. You write well because you write about every day life situations and how you have dealt with them.
    My most popular posts have been when I have bared all about depression, grief and loss. People need to know that they aren’t alone in the world and that there are others who feel the same way that they do. It gives them hope to know that someone else out there has managed to get through it and so can they.
    And like you, I have a book inside of me. I just need to write it. 🙂
    Take care my friend.

    1. Thank you. You NAILED it. People crave connection with like-minded people who understand them. And the exchange of ideas and stories between people like that is cathartic for all involved.

      It has been–by far–the most-magical part of the blogging experience.

  25. I can’t answer all your questions. Dinner’s almost ready. Can I answer some? Good. Because I’m going to. I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel.

    4. Do you think this is a stupid idea?

    Nope. I think it’s an excellent idea. Bloggers are hot right now. I’ve been seeing more and more books from bloggers. I think you strike while there’s a market.

    6. Would you think me an asshole if I scaled back on my posting frequency here in order to put more time into that?

    I used to post daily. Sometimes more than daily. Burned me right out, and I ran out of both steam and ideas. You’re going to have to scale back, I think, if you want to keep some ideas for yourself and have any energy left for a book (and to live your life.)

    7. Is this even remotely interesting to you? It’s okay to say no. In fact, I’m begging you to if you feel that way.

    Sorry. Can’t say no. It is interesting, and I think it’s a good idea – I think it’d sell. I think it’d be good. I think it’d be IMPORTANT.

    8. Do you think because I’m a divorced guy that failed at marriage that I’m in over my head trying to write a book like this? Or do you think it makes me the right guy for the job?

    Perfect guy for the job. Do I want someone who’s never made a mistake giving me advice? Hell, no. I want someone who’s human giving me advice. Every single time.

    9. Do you ever wonder how long you have to live, and ask yourself why the hell you’re waiting to do something you really want to do?

    Yes. The answer is almost always “because I work three jobs and there aren’t enough hours in the day.”

    10. I love you. Seriously.

    *blush* Aw. *scuffs shoe in the dust*

    You’ll rock this, Matt. Start writing, already.

    1. Nice Pee-wee’s Big Adventure reference. Awesome.

      Loved all these answers. Thank you. Just, thank you. I’m going to go write…

  26. Write it. It’s obviously been good for you to write, if it’s good for you, it will be good for somebody else in your position. Go for it, take the leap. One thought though, the men in my family are not great readers unless there are a few pics to drag them in, they collect their initial information visually and usually base their decision on whether to go further from that. Perhaps you could illustrate elements of it, even just the intro’s of each chapter etc. This also lends itself to either presenting your ideas in a comedic, or emotive way. I am biased though…………. I am an illustrator.

    1. This is a FABULOUS suggestion that I wouldn’t have thought of myself. More visual storytelling. Great idea. Thank you. I will give this a lot of thought.

      Thank you very much for saying hi and giving me good stuff to think about. 🙂

  27. Just…. Don’t let it become a self helf book.
    If you have a clear idea why you should write a book, go on. But I think the texts you’re currently writing are more fitting for a blog.

      1. I’m not smart enough to write a self-help book!

        I’m only smart enough to share my experiences and have them inadvertently help.

        I can’t write something that’s in any one genre.

        But I wouldn’t even write it if I didn’t think it had the chance to help someone. The most important thing I can do with my life, besides be a decent father, is share my mistakes and hope that there’s someone out there who can benefit from the information.

        It would never read like something clinical. I don’t know how to write like that. But I would like to think it could somehow help someone.

        Fingers crossed, anyway.

        1. I’m glad you’re not trying to write a self-help book. The thing is that you write emotional. Emotions move people. Self-help books don’t.

          1. You’re 100-percent right. I think it should be at the heart of every marketing effort in the world. Some brands are great at it. Others are not.

            Thank you for caring enough to share your thoughts and feelings on this. It means a lot to me. And I understand exactly what you mean.

          2. I work in marketing! But people rarely listen to me even when I’m accidentally right, like I am on this topic.

            This is what matters to people. Human shit. 🙂

  28. I have been following your blog since about 3 months. I know that’s not much, but the way you write, makes the reader come back again. I tried my hand at blogging, and then there are things that keep crying for my attention. So I give up quite some times. But you do keep writing, Matt. That spirit of consistency is something that an author needs. I was wondering for quite sometime why are you not trying to compile some of these incredible posts and create a book out of it? Seriously, you should try it.

    1. You’re too kind. Thank you.

      I still can’t quite wrap my brain around the idea that people go out of their way to read this stuff. Next to the miracle of life, this is about the coolest thing that’s ever happened.

  29. Go for it Matt, you know it makes sense. I agree with most of the comments here. The ‘open letters..’ are a great starting point and you’ve covered so much already in the blog that you have more than enough material for a book.. Don’t overthink it.. just do it.

    I agree with Leonie’s comments about the illustrations.

    1. Thank you for the encouragement. It’s been fun to think about. I’m pulling several ideas together. We’ll see what happens.

  30. Ok, I’m late to the party, as usual. Totally behind on my reading. But I couldn’t not answer this one! Of Course! Write It! Do It Now! What do you have to lose? Someone (effingsomething -sorry you have so many commenters) mentioned opening each chapter with one of your letters. Exactly what I was thinking! Use these letters as the jump off point for each chapter. I think it could be amazing and your voice is one I think a lot of men (and women) could relate too. Seriously, you kind of have to do it now, right? So exciting….

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  32. This is a great idea and you are the ideal candidate to write such a book. People who are struggling in their relationships (or have had them ended) don’t want to hear a person with a psychology degree tell them how to fix their problems. They want to hear it from someone who has experienced it, has a heart and a reason for what they write. Someone who is passionate about their writing and who is honest. You have all of that.

    The one post that stuck out to me and it’s not the whole post was – forgive me because I don’t remember exactly. You had said something along the lines of listening to your spouse, even when you’re not interested in what they’re saying. Even if it doesn’t seem important to you. What your spouse tells you IS important – it’s important to them, so listen. That has stuck with me for months now and it’s something that we all (men probably more often) struggle with.

    I’ll buy your book.

      1. That makes you the sweetest. 🙂 I’ll still read it, but I’ll likely skip over those parts. But, you’ll have to autograph it for me. After all, you are famous now. 🙂 (I’m kidding – about the autograph, not about you being famous.)

  33. I haven’t read through all the comments here, but I thought that your post about your dad was something that you should pursue in print. It had a little Mary Karr in it. Also I saw that a few people suggested that you get some of your individual stories published before trying to put together a book (or book proposal), and I think that’s a great idea.

    I’m prejudiced, but I think that mainstream publishing with a literary agent and publishing house is the way to go, always. The published articles would get you started.

    Have you read Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed? Just a thought! 🙂

    And how interesting that I mentioned two female writers. I can’t think of a male writer in this genre exactly?

    1. Thank you so much for contributing. I have a lot to think about. In the meantime, I’m just writing.

      I figure it’s probably better to have something that needs pared down than something that needs added to.

      I’m going to work on it a little every day and see what happens.

      Thank you for the reading suggestions!

  34. I haven’t been reading long and I’m late to the comments, too. But I feel strongly compelled to answer.

    Please write this book.

    If this had been a book three years ago, or five, or nine, I could have handed it to my husband, or left it on the couch under his Dual Shock controller. I could have said, “Read this. Please read this, because this is where we’re going.” He’s not a reader. He certainly isn’t a blog reader. But if it had a catchy title, maybe promised to unravel what I meant when I said, “I feel like you don’t see me,” maybe he’d have read it and we wouldn’t have had to talk divorce a couple days after Christmas 2012.

    If this were a book today, I could casually toss it to him and say, “Since we don’t have enough money to split up officially, we might as well make the best of it, right? For our son if not for us?”

    Because I told him I wanted him to read those letter posts. I told him that you’re him, that reading your blog is like standing inside his brain and reading his thoughts. I don’t want him to hurt so much (though I recognize he has every right to), and I want him to know he’s not alone in the craphole that is our situation. This random every-guy on the internet knows exactly what it feels like, and your words are exactly the same. One has a better job, one has a wife who refused to cheat. But pretty much, that’s the only difference. (You even kind of look alike.)

    He won’t read them. It’s too much criticism. Too much “This is how you screwed up, you fat, stupid loser, and now I’m going to shove it in your face” (in his mind, that is). If it were a book, maybe he’d flip through the pages. Maybe he’d see that I wanted him to read it as much for him as I do for me, or for us. Toss in some movie references and he might even enjoy it.

    So I can’t answer most of your questions. I can’t tell you what to include beyond, “The most human, most painful, most difficult parts interspersed with lessons in ‘how not to be a shitty husband.'” I can only ask that you do it, in whatever format you find most amenable to your needs. I think it’s too late for us, but it’s not too late for him. Or for all the other wives out there struggling to find a way to express what you can say, man-to-man.

    Because there’s this: “Not because they’re not good enough. Not because they’re not smart enough. Not because they’re not strong enough. But just because their toolboxes didn’t have the right stuff for the job.” And that message alone would be so worth the price.

    Also, I happen to be a newly self-published e-novelist who spent a decade trying to crack the traditional route, so if you have questions about the basics, please feel free to ask. What I lack in experience I can make up for with resources. Fiction and non-fiction aren’t the same creature, but they share the same environment. 🙂


    1. God, this was nice to read if you leave out all the horribleness.

      Thank you so much for this encouragement. I really do think this is a super-important message. And I think there are effective and non-effective ways of getting the message across.

      There are millions of us learning the hard way.

      But we can be the change. We don’t just have to be another statistic. We don’t have to be sad and pissed off all the time.

      This meant a lot to me, Holly. Thank you so much for taking a moment to share this with me. I hope there’s a next time. (Especially if it’s to talk shop about publishing.)

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