It’s been ages since I’ve written here but as the old adage goes, better late than never. So, why not get back into the habit of peppering my blog with a ton of thoughts and memories? There, after all, are plenty of them since I’ve last written.
First thing’s first: 2021 marked a significant personal milestone for yours truly: I wrote and published my first book.
Titled, “All the Right Words: My Journey as a Sportswriter Who Stutters,” this was a project I began more or less at the behest of my brother, Adam.
He had been telling me for months that I had more than enough material to write a book. Now, in fairness, Adam may have been referring to all of the hockey-related interviews I had conducted over the past few years, but it nonetheless gave me an opportunity to think about something else.
While I’m sure I’m not the only one in the world, I feel that being a sportswriter who stutters is nonetheless original. But regardless of its originality, I felt that mine was a story worth sharing anyway. It may not resonate with everyone but it could definitely resonate with someone. So, why not try? Why not start writing and see where it took me?
That’s just what I did.
As 2020 turned into 2021, there remained a plethora of collective uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic. After all, many of us looked back on the former year with anguish given the circumstances. But as 2021 began, the vaccines, while on their way to being released, were still months away from being available to the public. Also, aside from the essential businesses like grocery stores, everything was, for all intents and purposes, closed up. Overall, there was only so much we could do — being stuck at home during the dreary winter, mind you.
But this opportunity, gave me — nay, forced me — to take on something that would occupy my time. While I was fortunate enough to still have my day job — which I was able to work remotely at — and my wife, Shannon, here, there was something lacking. So, that’s when I began writing my book. But instead of going in perfect chronological order, I decided to jump around and pick certain times in my life, and in my career, to write about. Sorting all that out in the right order could wait. I just wanted to, first and foremost, write.
For the first few weeks, the process was slow. I had trouble getting any sort of momentum as I was still wondering what to include and what to leave out. Before long, though, I got into a groove and by the summer, not only was I wrapping up, but the vaccines were rolled out — to which Shannon and I quickly signed up for and received — and restaurant patios were open. It was a perfect storm, if you will, of everything good at just the right time.
As for the book itself, I made the necessary edits and tweaks, even had some others proofread and edit themselves. But as I was wrapping up the book, I was thinking of asking someone to write the foreword and, in all honesty, it was a bit awkward because, being a first-time author, I didn’t know what type of etiquette was involved with this. But I had remembered speaking to former NHL goaltender Eddie Lack a few months before.
I was scrolling Twitter one day early in 2021 when I came across a thread involving the former netminder.
Long story short, the thread was initiated by a listener who had admitted that he was taken aback by Eddie’s speaking difficulties. Well, it turned out that the latter, like yours truly, is a Person Who Stutters. Eddie, professionally, expressed this to the listener in response. But it brought me back to my own experience on a podcast years earlier where the host — albeit privately — felt the need to tell me how bad the episode was. He didn’t know I stuttered and I probably should have told him, but I thought I could get through it. Alas, I was wrong.
Nevertheless, I reached out to Eddie and we ended up hitting it off. Then, later when I approached him to write the foreword, he happily agreed.
Then, on August 16, “All the Right Words: My Journey as a Sportswriter Who Stutters” was officially released. And so, while friends and immediately family bought the book, so did long lost friends and distant family — something I wasn’t expecting.
So, here we are over a year later and I think my book is doing pretty well. However, I am on a quest to have my maiden book reach new people. More on that later, though.
In hindsight, this was a huge personal success and something I am, and will always be, truly proud of.
To purchase “All the Right Words: My Journey as a Sportswriter Who Stutters,” it is available on Amazon: