Jeff Lund and the book of no secrets
By JEFF LUND
July 13, 2015
People also ask me if I ever get nervous, or how I respond to criticism. One of the nice things about writing rather than speaking is that there is no recorded evidence of my fumbling over words or mumbling like I do when I get tired after too little sleep or too many burpees. The problem is that people read and either don’t get me, or disagree because I don’t have the benefit of inflection, tone or retort. This happened a lot when I wrote subjective sport columns in college.
I don’t get as much criticism now, but it’s probably worse because people simply don’t bother to read. In college I got some people fired up enough to not only finish the column but email me and tell me what I hack I was.
It didn’t bother me, because early on I learned that the point was to get them reading. Write what you know, and if someone disagrees, they still paid to read you.
Things are a little different now, because my first book is coming out in July. I say first just because it’s my first, not to imply there will be more. It’s different because when I write a column, if a reader pays two bucks for the paper and my column stinks, there are other sections to make the purchase worth it. If someone is reading online, he or she is just a click away from freedom. But people will be paying $20 for Lund. That’s a scary thought. People can do a lot with a twenty-dollar bill. That’s a couple gallons of king salmon gas. That’s a movie for two and a miniature popcorn. No one wants to pay that much to hold down a bookshelf. Gravity is free.
When people disagree with how you see basketball strategy that’s fine. People can have their own (wrong) opinion. But when it’s your life, it’s a little different. How I lived and what I chose to do is different than how I choose to see the effectiveness of a 1-3-1 half-court trap against Kansas.
There’s another thing, I’m a 34-year-old dude writing a memoir. I’m not the elder owl with a wealth of life and knowledge. I do make it pretty clear in the book that I don’t really know what is going on, but that fishing, hiking, hunting and writing help make life pretty darn cool and sort through the chaos of things like direction, identity and death.
My book is not life changing, though my life changed when I lived the material, and while writing it. It’s not great literature. You won’t need a dictionary app or to be terribly well read. I do know for a fact that readers have thought about the same stuff I have and I’m not just talking about what size and color of elk hair caddis to use. (Readers also don’t have to know much about fishing, because the book is about fishing, but not really about fishing, you know?)
I hope readers just think they got $20 worth of essays, columns and perspective. Or a $20 furniture leveler.
Either way, I’ll use the money to pay off the Boston Whaler I bought and named Lund because it was strange, even to me, that I didn’t buy a boat that literally had my name on it.
Jeff Lund’s book, Going Home will be available in July.
Jeff Lund is a Teacher, Freelance Writer, living in Ketchikan, Alaska