It’s April already, can you believe it? But because gas is $4 a gallon, I didn’t go to Dutch Bros. to get a coffee and stickers.

April Fools.

I got Dutch and my stickers today. Come on! It’s sticker day!

One of the nice things about Dutch is how friendly the barristas are (Bro-istas). Today was no exception, and though I only get there about once a month now, I’ve once again become a regular at two other locations. What’s cool about what they do is in starting conversations with people how come through the line. For five minutes, you get to tell them your story and they listen. The crazy thing is that they listen, and then a month down the road, they will ask me how things are going and remember where I left off.

What is this wizardry?!

Today, I told one of my friends (she moved over from another location where I was an everyday regular) about the book. She wanted to know how it was going, so I told her I was done with the first draft. She was stoked for m. It was actually pretty cool. So on my next Dutch stop on the way out of town, my next Bro-ista asked questions about why I was down from Walden.

I told her it was to get coffee and stickers. She wanted to know what I was doing all the way up here, so I told her about refinishing the house, writing my book(s), and with each thing that I brought up, she looked like one statement after the next was more interesting than the last.

“You are amazing!” she said.

I’m not going to take that compliment as some sort of ego build from someone half my age. You see, I am taking it as what it really is. I take for granted a lot of what I do. There’s not a lot of positive reinforcement for what I do. Sometimes it’s really tough to push on because I just see myself as sitting here and spinning my wheels. It’s good to be reminded of what I am accomplishing from someone on the outside looking in. I take for granted my skills and achiements, I downplay what I do because of Imposter Syndrome, or also because I don’t have a lot of peers doing what I do.

Writing is a lonely life, after all.

I’ve tried joining writing groups and that has made it worse. These folks are still just starting out, and I’m in need of someone to talk about the existential crisis of writing, instead of worrying about commas and shit. I’m not Maya Angelou or John Grisham by any means, but I’m a little closer to that than I am just starting out. Not to be a dick, but those writing groups made me feel like Andre Agassi playing pickleball.

So, it was good to see the look on a couple people’s faces when I said I wrote three books in two years. It’s hard to have a metric on exactly what you have achieved when you don’t see yourself achieving much. I’m taking it as a W and the ten minutes of conversation combined was well worth the drive.

Plus I got coffee and stickers!