Prison Writing Q and A
Well, the NBA Playoffs start in about an hour, I think the Wizards and Cavaliers play at 12:30, so I will likely be watching basketball all day…or playing video games…or doing picture in picture so I can do both.
I had not expected to write anything today because I checked my email and didn’t get anything…which is why I always urge you guys to email me about prison issues or my books, cards and the like.
But before I get into the title, I wanted to share this with you. One of my readers told me she sent me something in the mail, and that I should be getting it soon. I had been emailing her about some issues and did my best to try to help. Well, today I got a letter from her and was touched beyond words when I saw a money order to support my writing.
Folks, that really, REALLY touches me to think that I can earn someone’s trust like that, and I had to sit down for a minute and just be thankful. I think many readers think that I am trying to scam folks out of money, which unfortunately is what one reader said about me awhile back.
But I cannot say any clearer that I really want to help, but you know I am an ex felon. But you also know that it takes support to do the things I want to do. I didn’t write 500 blogs just to exercise my fingers. I didn’t write 1200 posts on some prison sites just to run my mouth. I really want to help, I really want to become a source of help for those looking for help.
But many times when I talk about support, it is because it really helps. And support give me a much stronger sense to help than what I do now. Imagine how much more I would be writing if I had more support?
Anyway, I was very moved by that person, and I am making it a TOP priority to get those blog books done…she has asked about that and I told her I expect to have some done by the end of May….that is now a high priority for me now, because she believed in me to support me, so I have to continue to do my best.
“How do I support you”
Before you even think about that, read my blogs. I am not looking for those who are just “curious”. If you are interested in supporting my works, or interested in buying my books, cards and the like, then first, you have to read my blogs. Not one, not 5, but I say at LEAST 20. Why? Because it will give you time to decide if I am someone you can sincerely believe in. If you are not sure, don’t send me a penny…I don’t want it.
But if you have read enough of my blogs and want to support me, email me at derf4000 (at) embarqmail (dot) com and I will be glad to give you my info.
“Why don’t you give it online?”
Because there are waaaaay too many busybodies out there than I want to deal with. See, lots of people ask personal questions not because they care, but because they are looking for flaws in flawed individuals. It’s like they are not happy unless they have something negative to say about somebody else.
It’s not enough that I am an ex felon, they want more to damn me…and others.
And it goes both ways as far as earning trust…I have to earn yours before you support me, and you have to earn mine before I give you my personal address and such. I have no problem doing that, but it takes effort to ask me, rather than just have it out there for you to take. If you take the effort to email me and let me know that you like what I write and are interested in supporting me or buying my books, sure I don’t mind at all.
“What were you in for?”
This to me is a damning question, because there is no good answer to give. It kinda bothers me when people ask that, because there is no “good” sin. No matter what I say, it will change your perception in what I am. And to me it is also bothersome because it seems to imply that you are not happy just knowing that I am an ex felon. Isn’t that enough, if I am trying to do what I can to help?
Some people want to dig deeper to find more sins to heap on your head, but I can never understand what knowing what I was in for will actually HELP you. If I said I did time for selling drugs, you’d see me as a no good drug pusher, poisoning people of the community. If I told you I did time for embezzlement, you’d see me as a white collar thief, looking to steal money. If I told you I did time for indecent liberties, you’d say I was a evil child molester. If I told you I did time for manslaughter, you’d call me an evil killer.
There IS no good answer, is there?
So why ask?
I did my time, and I am trying to share experiences to help others, why are you trying to throw me BACK in prison? What good does that serve you to know why I was in prison? Let certain things of the past STAY there, and let’s move forward with how I can help you.
“If I send you some money for support, what will you do with it?”
Go to Hawaii…
Well, I would if I could, but who are we kidding. Honestly, it all depends on what I am trying to do. Many times I am working on books, so it costs money for paper, ink, binding at Staples, shipping and things like that. There are supplies that I need, from printing software to certificate paper, card stock and pretty soon, a new computer. Those just surround what I do for writing.
But even if I go to the mall to have a nice time, or go to Ruby Tuesday’s to enjoy a nice meal with my mom and brother, or go buy a new video game, or some new clothes, those things are encouraging. I am not saying that every dollar you send goes directly in my writing, but I AM saying that it does greatly encourage me to write more.
See, buying ink to print is just as helpful to my writing as being able to buy myself something every now and then. It creates a confidence that my writing is being supported, which in turn encourages me much more to write more.
But for example, the wonderful person that sent me some support today will help me get the ink I needed to get to do some books. After that, then maybe some special certificate paper for the prison encouragement certificates I offer. Then after that, maybe a nice shirt.
But trust me when I say this, it really, REALLY encourages me to keep writing. And that’s what I needed. I needed somebody to say, “I appreciate what you do”, because it means something to me.
I know I am never going to convince a lot of you that I am not scamming readers, because you’re gonna think the way you want to, and I make it too easy by just being an ex offender. And if so, don’t bother emailing me or asking for anything, because I have not earned your trust.
But as long as there is true interest, I do want to help you understand the mentality of what prison is about, both inside the cell, and after release. There is so much that can be addressed. One reader asked about the difference between minimum security and maximum security. That is a whole blog I can do, even though I did one on the minimum and maximum release dates.
I am not asking you to buy into my works on sight…I am asking you to read my blogs FIRST, and see if there is sincerity. If not, leave me be. If so, then email me about other issues you want me to blog about. And if I win your trust by what I say, and you honestly feel I am trying to help, then consider supporting my works.
I would not want it any other way.
Anyway, it is almost game time. Email me at derf4000 (at) embarqmail (dot) com.