The ebook is finally here! If you pre-ordered, you should have got an email with the download link. If not, let me know so I can remedy that. The paperbacks will arrive in two weeks! I couldn’t have done this without YOU. I will never forget your generosity. Thank you! I won’t take any more of your time, well except for the 280 pages I’m hoping you’ll read. If you enjoy it, reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, basically anywhere, help tremendously. Thank you! You’ve got a friend for life and someone who thinks you’re a hero.



Happy and Healthy Summer to all of you! I’m sure you’re aware because I won’t shut up about it, but in less than a month, my book will finally be out! July 20th is the release date of the paperbook. You may get the ebook earlier, but I can’t guarantee that. A THOUSAND THANK YOUS for all your support, generosity, and patience! Although the delay was extended and I worried if it would ever happen, now that it’s around the corner I’m freaking out. I’m sure there’s a lot I’d change about the book now, but you know what, I support the me who wrote it, just like you did. So thanks for being the model. 

Anyway, I wanted to give you this little update and to say that you may want to change your address on file if you have moved since it’s not only been three years, but also three years with a world-upending pandemic in the mix. You can sign in at Inkshares, then click on your icon in the upper right and there will be a Shipping Address option. I’d happily change it for you, but they won’t let me. Your other option is to send me your new address and I’ll send you the book from stack of author copies I get. It’s a small stack and I plan on sneaking some into libraries so I wouldn’t bank on this option, but I’ll do my best. Ok, that’s all. Thank you again! Hope you’re well and I’m excited to see/talk to you in 2021. 

All the best,


What a year it’s been. I don’t think anyone would have elected for this last year given the choice. It’s difficult on my heart when I sit with my thoughts of everyone who suffered, struggled, cried, grieved or worse. I hope as we start to see a light at the end of the tunnel you can find some light in your life, a little hope, a little happiness, a little relief. My own frustrations this last year were rooted in my book being put on hold (oh and the government, police, the elimination of joy, etc). While Stephen King and Elizabeth Gilbert thrived, book sales for new authors plummeted and hikes in costs for publishing and marketing made publishing my little book a no-go for 2020. I didn’t realize how stunted I felt not having this book out there. My own idiosyncrasies made it very difficult to start new projects with one big unfinished one looming over me. I felt frustrated with my own creative output and guilty for not delivering on something so many of you supported me on. 

But a little hope has has arrived alongside the larger hope that we may see a more active community. The copyedit is finished (Turns out the Chicago Manual of Style prefers LA to L.A. among many other little tweaks) and I just received the I initial pour (like a drink but words fixed on a page)! The book awaits a proofread, and then we’ll have our release date! A date that will be within the window to read on a beach or on vacation (hint hint summer hint hint)

As soon as I have that date, I’ll be shouting it from the digital rooftop! My gratitude for your support and patience is limitless. Whether or not you know it, you were a hero this last year, just calmly waiting, passively or actively supporting me while the days go by and the book I wrote three years ago nears publication. It’s a commitment and not an easy one considering everything we’ve been asked to endure. This year has been so devastating. There are folks who supported me who are no longer with us. The idea that this communication will be sent out to people who are not around to receive it deeply saddens me. Not for my little project but for all the projects and all the connections and all the community that will pick up not where they left off, but with a void that is irreplaceable. It makes all the creating and presenting and all the self-indulgence feel slightly silly. The real value feels like it should be in experiences. Something I wrestle with in the book. Something I’m learning that I’m still learning.

That’s all to say that having the experience of being supported by you, having someone at the other end wanting to read my words, or at the very least nurturing my need to write down my ideas has been immensely powerful in preserving some sort of peace and appreciation during all this. So thank you. Thank you for not just being here for me, but for being here. On this planet. Existing. Living. You’re good company and your presence is important. I hope we get to connect in person in the future. And even though I fear that I will be so distant from the ideas in my book that it will be like publishing an old journal and I’ll want nothing more than to board up the doors and windows and wait for the humiliation to pass, I can’t imagine wasting any more time not sharing a laugh (even at my expense) with all the people I’m lucky to know. So as we continue to wait, continue to navigate and continue to adapt, I’m so beyond thrilled that you’re here to do it with. 

So you’ll be hearing from me very soon. And in the meantime, if you know any reputable authors or infamous writers with time on their hands and patience in the hearts, maybe I can court them to read an advanced copy for a neutral or better review for the marketing. Looking for anything more flattering than "It works for squishing and squashing bugs." -Dean Koontz

Well hello there readers and good and fine folks! I wanted to give you a little update. Some good, some less than good. The less than good is that COVID-19 has, maybe unsurprisingly, found a way to wreck even more havoc, by putting a hurt on the book market. While fiction sales are up, and notable authors are doing fine, bookstores aren’t seeing the summer traffic they normally do and us independent authors aren’t getting the same exposure. Inventories aren’t being ordered with the same gusto. So it is with a heavy heart that I say that Training to be Myself won’t hit bookshelves in 2020. We’re looking at an early 2021 release so whatever you can do to help the world from imploding until then, I’d appreciate it. On the scale of bummers for the year, this one isn’t so bad, but it still stings a bit. The good news however is that my book is in the best shape of it’s life with huge thanks to my editor Sarah, and its now on its way to the copy edit stage, so we’re closer than ever despite the release date being pushed. I can’t thank you enough for helping me get here, even if here still feels like just a nudge further than the middle of nowhere. I am that much closer to claiming author as my vocation without the guilt that follows so I gotta say, that’s pretty neat because I manufacture guilt like an all-you-can-eat buffet.  Thank you for helping to lift that burden! A real team effort there. I’m working on some ways to release some of the book while at the same time not embarrassing myself with a lack of readability and/or an eyesore of grammatical errors and also not to keep bothering you. So for starters, here’s a prescient brief excerpt I rediscovered. In the meantime, if I can help you out during these times, I’m an excellent grocery getter, a generous app login giver, and a decent script consultant so hit me up. Thank you everyone. I hope you’re carrying on and carrying for yourselves. 

Despite their best efforts, they hoist their pathetic bodies on their own petards. It’s effortful failing, my personal darling, and It’s comforting to know those ahead of us haven’t unlocked eternal elation. L.A. can often make me feel quarantined. It’s as if everyone around me is doing well, and I’m rolling around in this bubble of self-doubt and incompleteness that is successfully preserving me from any professional success or interpersonal growth.

***At least this year has given everyone a chance to slow down and let me catch up, or let them catch up with me depending on how you look at it.***

Hi friends, family and loved ones!

 I truly hope you are all in good health both physically and emotionally. These are unprecedented times and I don’t even know how to write this without sounding like the CEO of a company. “We here at Jake’s apartment just want you know we are taking every precaution and the safety and well-being being of our readers is of the utmost importance.” I mean that’s all true and I actually enjoy reading those weird emails, but they just feel impersonal and the last thing I want is to come off impersonal right now. Because this book, the campaign and your support is as personal as it gets for me. I’m thankful I have the opportunity to write and the investment of others to fuel my writing and persistence to complete this project. So here’s the update.

After working and revising based on the last round of notes, I just sent off my fourth draft to my wonderful, talented, and endlessly patient editor,  Sarah. Fingers crossed this will be the last round of big edits and we’ll enter the next stage of design and HOLY SHIT CAN YOU BELIEVE IT, PUBLI-FUCKIN-CATION!

And while I would love to say that the book will arrive in time to keep you company in quarantine, let’s hope we all get out of our houses first and the book can sit on your shelf, or be deposited in one of those free library boxes affluent neighborhoods have. 

If you’re antsy and think you can’t possibly wait another day, let me know.  Maybe I can send you a little sampler of an unapproved selection.

THANK YOU ALL for your kindness and support. I am indebted to you and if you want to get a face time coffee, please hit me up. Wishing you the very best during these difficult times,


Hi! I’m writing to give you the last update of 2019. What a year! So about two weeks ago, I sent in the newest draft of my book with all the revisions suggested by my editor. It was quite the process. More conceptual than procedural. It’s quite easy to hit the delete key or to locate all the uses of the word "well" and replace them, but it’s a whole other kettle of fish to answer questions of purpose and intent. Nevertheless, I made it to the other end, and once again I have YOU to thank. You believed in me so I’m getting it done. If it were just for me, I’d have probably just printed it out at FedEx and placed it on my shelf. 

Today I  got a reply from my manager and editor who said to expect an update on the draft within the next two weeks. So, what does that mean? Well it means that you should have a copy of the book in your hands within the next couple months barring any unforeseen obstacles. So clear a space in your bookclub queue!

Thank you again for your interest, support and patience! I am ever grateful for your generosity. Happy New Year!

Userphoto7 original Alichtanski · Reader · added almost 3 years ago
Thanks for the update! 

Hi Friends, family and heroes!

I’ve got a big update for you. First let me thank you for being patient, taking an interest in the updates, and above all else, supporting me! I wouldn’t be here today writing to tell you that my editor has sent me her editorial letter without, well, you! 

That’s right. I now have the notes and feedback from my editor and I’m on the road to revision. Let me just say it is both extremely exciting and psychologically taxing. For someone who makes their living coaching, instructing, and providing feedback to help people become better at their craft and passions, you would think I would be better at receiving feedback on my own work, but that has not been the case. It’s taken me almost a week just to read and digest the information. All the notes are excellent and will absolutely make my book better, but it is difficult not to take them personal. Even though it is not personal. It’s constructive. The aim of the notes is to help me. And I know they will help to make this very personal story more accessible,  entertaining and hopefully worthwhile. I share all this with you because, well I guess I just want to say that feedback is not always easy, but it’s how we get better and I’m good at saying it, and trying to be better at exuding it.

I’ve started revising my book and putting the notes into practice and I can already feel the difference. I am so fucking excited to finish this draft and get this book on the shelves! I’m also fucking terrified. This must be like what skydiving is like. I will never jump out of a plane, but I will do this. 

I plan to have this next draft done in a month. I’m sharing this with you, so if you see me out or talk to me, you can hold me accountable. It’s not your job, but if you feel like sending me to my room without dinner until I’m done, you’d be doing the difficult work we all will benefit from.

And lastly, I’m making some cuts to a rather large section of the book. I wrote 20,000 words on action movies, and it turns out that’s too many. Which is funny because I had thought 20,000 was a nice trim from the original 30,000. But in retrospect, losing another ten Gs on Tombstone and Robin Hood is a very good idea. I really leaned into talking very specifically about very niche action movies, and it sounds like a transcript of audio lifted from an old cult video store in the Kevin Smith universe. That being said, if you are interested in those pieces, I’ll be posting them as deleted scenes, both in an audio format and likely the whole piece in print. So check the link below for the first one. It’s mildly personal, but mostly just a small essay on the brilliance of Desperado. 


Ok, thanks again for being great people who believe in me! Know that the feeling is mutual and I am excited to be there for you in the future!

A Proper(ly long) Thank You

My apologies this took so long. I assure you it wasn’t due to a lack of appreciation. If anything, the weight of the gratitude is partly what contributed to the delay. How do you thank 451 people? One communal edible arrangement? A year and a half of in-person visits whereby I offer to clean your rain gutters or show your parents how to use AirDrop on their iPhone? My offer to take you to coffee still stands by the way. I just ask that you contact me because I can’t bring myself to pester you again. After nearly a hundred days of spinning a proverbial sign outside your home page saying “look at me, help me, listen to me,” I want to retire my own brand. “New Jake!” Just like “Jake Classic” except he won’t bother you. I felt guilty about even sending this. But I had to say something because you changed my life.

The other reason this took a while is because I was at a silent meditation retreat. It’s true. Immediately following the news that my book was getting published, the potential for fame went right to my head and I needed spiritual guidance. Just kidding. I was long overdue for mindfulness. So fortunately for me, this week gave me time to think about what I was going to say. Unfortunately for you, I’ve been silently mediating for a week, so there’s a chance this becomes 10,000 rambling words on poorly understood Buddhism. But if you hang in there, I promise a thank you is coming. Or skip to the end. Nothing wrong with a shortcut. You’ve earned it.

The retreat was mind expanding and perspective shifting. It challenged what I believe and how I behave. Prior to this, I basically subscribed to the Golden Rule and left it at that. But now I have Metta, Dukkha, Anicca, Anatta, and Upekkha; the potential for a whole new belief system. Which brings us to you.

You have been my belief system. I’ve always been able to believe in others. It’s basically how I make a living. And if you knew how natural it was, you wouldn’t be wrong to say I’m overcharging. My challenge has always been believing in myself. Relax, this isn’t going to get pitiful. It’s just a simple truth. Wherw I have doubts in myself I can reliably strength find in others. It’s what makes me an effective educator. See, we’re already out of the dark caves of pity and frolicking through the fields of boasting. It’s been rather simple to see the gifts and talents in other people; to know with confidence that they are capable of greatness. All most of us need is a little encouragement. And so if you’re reading this, then the chances are very high that I’ve believed in you, or in your son or daughter (a surprising number of moms have ordered my book, which makes me and my own mom very happy.  And while we’re at it, let me apologize in advance for the lewd content sprinkled, sometimes spread thick, throughout the book. My mom raised me better than that, I just happen to have a propensity for low-brow comedy). Anyway, the people who I’ve met and believe in covers about 85% of the pre-orders. As for the other 15% I haven’t met, well, you’re a part of my belief system too. At the retreat they frequently mentioned how close listening is to love, how hearing someone is one of the most loving acts a person can commit. So if you bought this book and you don’t know me, that means you listened to someone and loved them enough to believe their words, and anyone who gives up their time and money based on the words of someone they have love for, is easy to believe in. You’re generous beyond self-interest. And so I put the fate of this book in your hands because I believed in you. Which finally brings us to the thank you. Thank you. Yes for helping getting the book published, and also for helping me to believe in myself.

Anatta, boy I hope I’m getting this right, translates to “lack of self.” It’s the idea that we’re not separate. That we’re all a part of the whole. That if you zoom out far enough or increase to a higher magnification, you’ll see that we’re all interconnected. So when my book met the goal it was because I believed in you, and you believed in me, which through a certain lens means I believed in me. For ten dollars that’s a pretty sweet deal. Yes, it’s nice to have others believe in you, but you can’t put all your egos in one basket, because then your worth is determined by others. And that’s just not true. I was able to believe in you, not because I’m Charles Xavier and you’re a gifted mutant, but because as a human being you have worth and value and uniqueness. Your greatness is inherent. It would be like saying I knew a cookie was chocolate chip because it had chocolate chips. No shit, that’s what a chocolate chip cookie is. 

As a token of my appreciation I will never stop believing in you. Yes, because it’s necessary to believe in me (selfish), but also because it’s easy (lazy), and also because we’re all in this together so your success is my success (selfish again). Huh, maybe I’m just a selfish and lazy windbag. Well nevertheless, you’ve got me in your corner. Whether you’re at your peak and thriving, or you’re down in the dirt and struggling, know that I am rooting for you. Even if we’re up for the same job as cookie identifier. Not because I owe you, but because you deserve your happiness. And I deserve mine. And we don’t have to put a cap on that shit. You’re a champion, and I’m honored that we’re in this together. Hit me up about that coffee or those rain gutters. And tell your parents to just press the blue target that looks like a slice was taken out. Then they should see any nearby contacts. Thanks for helping my dreams come true. 

With Love,


P.S. Watch Fleabag. It’s arguably perfect. And if you’re going to do that then also listen to SMINO. He’s got a very crisp flow.

E5ib5kij Leo Valiquette · Author · added about 3 years ago
Hey, man, CONGRATS!

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