So, here’s the sequence of events, kind of.
2009–I wrote a novel. It about killed me. Queried, got a positive response, but realized I hadn’t edited the manuscript and that I’d queried prematurely. (For the record, it still sits, unedited, rotting in my hard drive. Someday, I say. Someday.)
2010–Started The Weed. My blog was about ADHD. I had a lot to say. For about a month. Then I tried medication for the first time and things tapered off.
End of 2010–I read a blog post online that made me laugh. I realized in that moment that I had wasted so much material talking about ADD in a serious way. Something clicked. From that day forward, randomly, I started writing humor posts. I became obsessed with it, started submitting my stuff to small contests, started gaining followers. It was fun.
Concurrently I was very purposefully building a writing platform. The undergirding of the whole operation was to build a platform to eventually be able to sell my book. From the very beginning, blogging has been about eventually selling books for me. I love it in and of itself, but the driving force for me is always that bigger picture.
2011–More humor posts. Still a lot of fun, but things started to get a little strained. I felt very constricted only using humor Most of my followers by that point had joined because of the comedy. I felt boxed in, but I also really loved it.
Beginning of 2012–I started really getting back into my novel, trying to finish it. I felt like that would be the next step. As you can see from this post, I had big plans. You can probably tell that I had no idea what was going to happen in two months.
Also near the beginning of 2012 the feeling of inauthenticity grew as I wrote humor posts. One day, I sat with writer’s block and Lolly came in and said “I know what’s going, Josh. You feel inauthentic.” Then she hesitated before saying “I think there’s a part of you that wants to come out of the closet.” I’d never seriously considered it, but we both felt something powerful in that moment. That conversation sparked a months long process of getting blessings, receiving personal revelation, etc. all indicating that I needed to share our story. It wasn’t until the middle of the year that I realized I needed to do that on the blog. I cannot emphasize the level of complexity the first six months of 2012 involved.
2012, June–I followed my gut and came out of the closet on the blog. Then the blog exploded and became something else entirely. It morphed into an account of a gay man married to a woman.
But this blog was never really about me being a gay man married to a woman.
And it was always about writing.
Which is why, when a major literary agent contacted me through the blog a week or so after my viral blog post, I paid attention. Suddenly, I wasn’t querying agents. An agent had just queried me. And he had sold some major things. Things you’ve probably heard of.
It was all very breathtaking.
I set up a phone call and we chatted. I was all nerves and excitement. I told him about my novel, about my aspirations, but he wasn’t really interested in any of that. “Let me know,” he said, “if you end up writing a memoir. I’d be very interested to represent a memoir.” And with that bug in my ear, we hung up.
I didn’t speak to him again for a very long time.