What I Need Now, From Heat Checks to Hail Marys

The truth is, I need help to get this next book published the way I’d like to

Donald Earl Collins

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Heat Check, Hail Mary, between Steph Curry and Aaron Rodgers (cropped and spliced), September 13, 2021.

This is my final (maybe?) essay in my series More Confessions From an Educated Fool. I do need help, to keep me from self-publishing a third book, to make the leap into writing beyond the freelancing. I ask, but I don’t think I ask correctly. Or, maybe people just don’t like me. Anyway, the essay is less than 1,000 words. Please read.

Make no mistake. This post is a plea for help to reach the next stage as a writer, to get a book out into the world with some measure of success. I’d prefer not to go the route of the self-published manuscript this time, where the book has no chance to reach more than a few hundred people or maybe a couple thousand people. For those who are better positioned as writers, I’m not asking for your first-born child. However, if you have enjoyed my stories, my blog, or my published work over the years, maybe, put in a word with an agent if you have one? Or, maybe, if I ask you to read a chapter of my latest ms, that you read it and give me feedback? Or, maybe even, just the least bit of encouragement to hang in there?

My latest manuscript is titled Narcissism, American Style: Essays on Racism, Narcissism, and How to Get to a Post-Western World. (I do have an alternative title, Sage’s Gold.) It was originally supposed to be a series of essays on America’s narcissism, its origins, permutations, and the damage it has done and will do to the world if left unchecked. After I had published a piece in The Atlantic on the hidden psychological costs of college education for first-gen students five years ago, I did a heat check, put together an initial proposal and a cover letter, and sent out my idea to agents. Two immediately responded, but said no (or didn’t respond) after I sent them my initial drafts. Oh well!

Then, I started writing out the essays, all to figure out what direction this book should take. I had two epiphanies along the way. One, I needed to make my mostly US-focused book one that challenged the West, and that meant testing out parts of essays as articles. Two, I needed to figure out where this world is headed as long as the US and the West remain steadfast in leading and exploiting resources and lives.

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Donald Earl Collins

Freelancer via @washingtonpost | @TheAtlantic |@AJEnglish | @Guardian; American Univ. & UMUC history prof. Invite me to write/speak: donaldearlcollins@gmail.com