Sunday, December 14, 2014

Think and Grow Poor: Cultivating a Negative Mental Attitude Promotional Post

More than five and a half years ago, I mentioned that I was considering posting this book.  I declined to do so for "personal reasons":

 Later, this morning I decided against another, my most recent, still in its rough draft form and one I am not sure will ever be seriously revised, my NaNoWriMo project from last year, titled Think and Grow Poor: Cultivating a Negative Mental Attitude, a memoir of my life from July of 2007 through Election Day 2008--I decided against this for personal reasons, and though it is no small achievement, it is probably my weakest overall work, with only a few chapters in particular (maybe 5) that eclipse most of my other work."(

So having said that, five of these chapters are probably worth checking out more than the others:
"Pre-Existing Condition"
"Literary Criticism"
"The Launch" 
"I Want to Shroom at Disneyland" 

This book is not great.  But the structure is what separates it from your "typical road novel."  Obviously, Kerouac is a major influence on this work.  I took a road trip and settled down for 9 months in L.A., then wrote about the experience in a very short period of time.  There are also several "themes" that run through the book and I would like to think that I present a near-expert perspective on each of them.

I did not want to put this up previously because it was "too soon."  But now, time has healed most wounds, and I can give this is its own blog.  I advertised this book on Facebook by asking the question of how many friends I might lose in the process of posting it, but I only dropped from 551 to 550.  While this is a book of creative nonfiction in its purest sense (only 2 name changes), I hope most people consider it "fiction" and do not decide to prejudge me on the basis of the activities described therein.  The majority of this action took place between August 2007 and September 2008, so I hope you realize that people have the capacity to change.  It was also written mostly in November 2008, and there are many, many changes I would make if I were going to sit down with it and publish it as a book.  I am mostly happy with the way it is (though I know it tends to drag on in self-serious, equivocating explanatory paragraphs), and was busy trying to complete NaNoWriMo in 2014 while posting each chapter in reverse chronological order and making "light edits" and trying to come up with something vaguely clever to tease each post on Facebook and Twitter.  It wasn't a big success, but also wasn't a huge failure.  To date it has 881 page views (which I know, sucks, but in comparison to DST, which is sitting at 2040 after 5.5 years, it can be counted as a slight success.  Then again, I never tried to do a similar promotional thing for DST.

There were about 10 people that seemed to regularly visit the site each day to see each new post.  I appreciate their attention and hope they found it worthwhile.  I hope you will consider checking it out, and letting me know what you think.  Because I've been very lazy lately, but really want to get back into writing the way I did in 2006 through 2009...and maybe even 2013.  I find myself strangely lacking motivation to try, but I know that eventually, I must.

-Christopher J. Knorps
12/14/14 in Chicago, Illinois


Anonymous said...

I can not help but wonder how you feel about law school now that you are done with it. Do you wish you never went? Are you happy with the outcome? What are you doing now? Do you wish you did something else?

JK said...

I was hoping to address these issues during NaNoWriMo 2014, but it will need to wait. So, for now:

(1) Yes.
(2) No.
(3) Underemployed in public sector (job requires license).
(4) Maybe, but not sure what I would have done apart from an English Ph.D., and not sure I would be happy with that outcome either.