Worrying about complete silliness… Or, am I?

I’m sure you’ve heard of the term of putting the cart before the horse.

Well, this sounds stupid, but for the better part of the last six months after I completed my most recent Western novel, one of my worst fears has been getting asked by an interviewer, “Who are your favorite writers?”

Or, “What writers had the biggest influence on you?”

Or, “Name a couple of the greatest writers in your opinion?”

Now, maybe I’m just sweating this because I’m the one used to asking all the questions.

But still, how do you answer those questions? I could just blow them off, I guess, but as someone who’s read so much and been influenced by so many, how do you narrow it down?

And honestly, there are a lot of successful authors who’ve sold millions that I think can’t write worth a shit. But, can you say that when you’re new? And should you? I’m guessing the right answer’s “no,” but I’m guessing threatening to pistol whip Patton probably isn’t something you should do either, so I’m liable to step in it on this line of questioning, as well. And with the internets, it’ll be out there forever, so I’ll be pretty much doomed. A nobody writer squashed by a somebody writer who’s richer than shit and has all kinds of connections — but still can’t write.

Anyway, any advice from my millions of readers would be great on the top questions…

And any tips on not worrying about this prior to being published would be welcome as well. I think I’m definitely putting the cart before the horse on this one.

10 thoughts on “Worrying about complete silliness… Or, am I?

  1. Dear Stan,
    When you put the cart before the horse, disconnect it and ride the horse. Remember who you are and what you have accomplished! You take a leap of faith everyday. You are “Stan the man”…you eat bullets for breakfast. Hang in there, my friend.


    1. Thanks so much, Anonymous! I’ve got to say, I’ve never heard the idea of disconnecting the cart and riding the horse! That’s rich.

      And while it’s true I do take a leap of faith each day, I assume you know me well enough to know that I give God and my friends and family tons of credit for what little success I’ve achieved. Believe me, that leap is often taken with shaking knees, but I always manage to eventually take it… : )

      Thanks for the comment, and thanks for thinking I eat bullets for breakfast! My vast marketing skills are obviously paying off!


  2. Stan, I have read the novel and I like it, some parts of it actually hit home, in a different time and place however I felt like it was already played out by us and our units endeavors. If you were not there you would not understand or even know about it. I truely feel that everyone who has read what you have sent them will like it and when it is completed and printed I want a signed copy. Your brother by title and blood, Shannon


    1. Thanks, Shannon! I don’t know what to say. What does a boot say to one of the men he constantly looked up to and emulated?

      Bottom line, in a land full of bad asses, you stood out, and I’m honored to have gotten to know and serve with you. You’ll most certainly get a signed copy and be mentioned foreword.


  3. As a fellow reader and future novelist, I had never thought about being asked those questions. However I think you are right in expecting them. Myself I would chose a neutral famous, maybe classic writer, and then a few contemporary writers in the genre you are trying to break into. About not worrying…well Matthew 6:34 tells us that we shouldn’t worry about tomorrow. I think the chips will fall in your favor whether you become famous or just a local well-known writer. The future is so unpredictable. Approach it with zeal and wonder instead of worry and stress. Find a way to make your writing career a fun adventure. Jump head first into the surf and don’t worry about the next wave. Enjoy this one till you are hit with the next. You can do this. I believe you can.


  4. These questions are always tough to answer, I agree! And I find that it changes anyway. Some authors influence me in certain ways and other authors influence me in other ways. A combination of classic and contemporary is always good advice, I suppose.

    I liked your very first post as well (comments were closed so I had to comment here). I always appreciate when you retweet a Buddhist saying or idea – it’s a lovely way for me to take pause in my day so thank you for that!


    1. There is an absurd amount of wisdom in your answer, Letizia.

      So much so, in fact, that I’m going to copy it and use it to formulate my answers (in the off chance — I hope!!! — that it someday matters)… : )

      But really, it truly does change, and I really ought to name some classic and contemporary authors. Thanks for taking the time to leave such an awesome comment. (And for connecting with me. I’m glad our paths crossed!)


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