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Know Jack 404 Never-Never Land

Forget about Peter Pan we’re talking all the things conventional wisdom says you should not do. For example, if you should never judge a book by its cover, why the heck do authors pay through the nose for cover designs? Because your book has to jump out and grab them to get them to open it.

Honestly, I’ve never been good at taking “don’t try this at home” advice. I’m more a “here hold my beer” kind of guy. Tell me no, don’t, or never and you can be almost certain I will try it. It’s either the scientist in me that must test every hypothesis or I’m just not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Whichever may be true, I’m probably going to bust a gut trying to prove it just ain’t so.

That’s one reason why I’m still a writer. I have never lacked for those who told me that my writing was a game, a hobby, or a wild pipe dream. Had no one ever said those things, I might have given up after the first try. Now, here I am fifteen books later, still determined to prove them wrong. I may not be talented, but I’m persistent. Of course, there’s a saying for that too. “Never speak ill of yourself, you can count on your friends for that.”

When I started nursing school my instructors had plenty of advice for students. “You cannot do this and work a full-time job,” they said. As a prep for nursing school, I went out and got a job as an aide in a nursing home, working 40-48 hours a week, depending on how many co-workers called in sick on Saturday. I spent my downtime between classes and at lunch tutoring nursing math. Since I was working so many hours, I did not join a study group—another “got to” for success.

I credit my success, not to intelligence, but stubbornness. I did learn in nursing school that it was unwise to choose answers with the word “always” or “never” in them. So, I perhaps I just wanted to be the odd exception more than the success.

I recently ran into a new bit of advice related to this post. Mike Bender has said, “Never moon a werewolf.” Oops, too late. My most successful books involve "mooning" werewolves.

They say never drink alone. So, if I find a fly in the bottom of my wine bottle—does that mean I wasn’t drinking alone?

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