When I wrote AlphaDog, my dating guide for men, I wanted to make money from my desire to help guys. I had no idea what I would learn.
Book sales started off slow. I had no platform and I was unknown. But I had a boyfriend, who I met while researching for the book. We got along famously and were joined at the hip, almost. And, I had lots of ideas.
I became a contributor to Dating Thoughts. Slowly, sales started to rise. Then I became a writer for the men’s online magazine, TheRugged.com and sales jumped 500% over the previous year.
Then reality struck.
My doctor had told me I had anxiety and that I should go to the World Trade Center health clinic. In September 2001, I lived a little over a mile from Ground Zero in New York City. Just before 9 a.m. on that Tuesday morning, I woke up to what felt like an earthquake. It was the plane crashing into the first tower. Outside, with a crowd of onlookers, I watched in horror as the towers fell, and I saw droves of people covered in dust crossing over the Brooklyn Bridge. I then went to a nearby hospital and volunteered in triage until 5 in the morning, helping shocked people get home and answering the phone calls of people searching for loved ones and colleagues.
To add to this all, because I had no air conditioner, the dust from Ground Zero contaminated my apartment. I became sick with acute bronchitis and lost my job.
This past November, my book sales dropped to the lowest level all year, and I didn’t know why. I cared, but not enough. In fact, I almost gave up on this whole dating advice thing.
Why would something that in the past gave me joy become a burden?
After months of examinations and therapy, I finally realized that I had been living for the previous 10 years with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from 9-11. How I managed to put out a book in a year escapes me, except for the fact that one thing had motivated me: wanting to help people.
It even says it in my astrological charts – something I disdained until a few months ago. I am motivated by the ability to help people. Sadly, in the past people used this quality against me, but I’ve since grown wiser.
So, I thought it would be good to share my story.
If you’ve noticed, I’ve been the primary writer for DT for a while. (Funny, because before joining DT, I was trying to buy the domain.) The other writers got busy with other priorities. But since I have a book, I stuck around and eked out articles.
Book sales in a way had been a measuring stick for my mental health. Sales started to slump just when I started WTC therapy. I cried a lot, more than I had in my entire life. I was depressed. I didn’t even want to go out. I believe it’s divine intervention, or the universe at work, that caused the spring of emotions to coincide with the drop in book sales. But now that I’m healing and no longer sob at the thought of the towers crashing down, I’m ready to take on the role of wing girl once again.
This is really about my relationship with you. And it’s not too unlike a relationship with a date. I’ve learned that I need to engage more with you. I’ve always wanted people to write in and ask questions. So, now I’m inviting you.
In addition, I’m giving a Valentine’s gift:
- Free downloads of the Kindle version of AlphaDog. If you have a Kindle or the Kindle app on a smartphone or tablet, starting at midnight PST on Tuesday, February 14 through Friday, February 17, downloads of the Kindle version of AlphaDog will be available for free. Share the love!
In tragedies there can be beauty. There is more to the story, but I would have to write a memoir.
In case you were wondering, that hip-bound boyfriend became just a friend. I’m happily single.