Blog Vs. Book

I wish someone had warned me that some people would automatically assume I’m an authority on the craft of writing just because I’ve written a book. Several people have shoved manuscripts into my hands and asked for my advice. I’m not qualified to talk about writing. I’ve written exactly one book. I’ve never taken a creative writing class. The last time anyone ran a red pen through what I had written was in college. The only book I ever read about being a writer was Stephen King’s excellent On Writing. If you dropped me into an MFA program I’d probably freak. No, you won’t read me waxing philosophically about the joys and pains of writerdom. There are authors with far more experience and books under their belts that can do a much better job than I. What I can discuss with a smidgen of authority, however, is that writing a book is quite different from writing a blog.

A blog is defined by the hive mind over at Wikipedia as “a website usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order.” I have to admit, however, that the definition Urban Dictionary cooked up is often more apropos. “A meandering, blatantly uninteresting online diary that gives the author the illusion that people are interested in their stupid, pathetic life. Consists of such riveting entries as ‘homework sucks’ and ‘I slept until noon today’.”

But whatever topic a blogger wishes to discuss, whether stories about retail hell, trivial everyday occurrences, or exhibitionistic tales about one’s love life, the key to attracting readers is to regularly update one’s site. Some über bloggers will throw ten or twenty posts up on their website every hour. Most online diarists thankfully content themselves with updating only once or twice a day. I’m an anomaly in the blogging world. Over the past four and a half years I’ve written 450 short stories about life in and outside of the restaurant business. That works out to one post every three and a half days — a snail’s pace in the blogsphere. Despite that low output, however, I’ve been very fortunate to have a legion of faithful, some would say fanatical, readers that click over every day, hoping to find a new post. I am very grateful to them. I am also very grateful to blogging.

You see, blogging forced me to write. I had a fan base demanding updates so I tried my best to post at least twice a week. This kind of expectation from the readers forced me to sit down and bang away at my keyboard even when I didn’t want to. And, like anything else, you always get better at something the more you practice it. (I hope!) Blogging also satisfied my instant gratification jones. I would take an hour or so to write something, post it, and within minutes people would start leaving feedback in the comment section. Eighty percent of the time, the feedback would be favorable — but the other 20% would make your hair curl. Lovely comments like, “You’re a loser,” or “Your writing’s execrable,” and “You’re a waste of oxygen” helped to toughen me up. While I hope my book gets favorable reviews from mainstream media, I doubt professional book reviewers will employ such abusive language if they don’t like it. The process is similar to my previous experience working in a psychiatric hospital and how it prepared me for waiting tables. No matter how bad a crazed customer got, no matter how abusive the chef, at least no one was throwing the contents of their bedpan at me.

The comments I received also helped me in two very important ways. First off, there were times that I worried that my blog was indeed a “meandering” effort to justify a “stupid, pathetic life.” We all get down on ourselves from time to time. I’m no exception. But when millions of people visit your website every year and thousands of people tell you they like your writing, well, that’s a great confidence builder. Secondly, I received many comments and emails from readers who would offer constructive criticism, tell me when I had spelled something wrong, chide me when I had written something lame, and encourage me to dream and work harder. For that I’ll always be grateful.

But I discovered early that blogging is nothing like writing a book. Writing a blog is like being the head guru in a commune of hippies. Writing a book, however, is like being a hermit in the desert. It’s an isolating experience. And when you’re an instant gratification junkie like me, losing the instantaneous feedback I had gotten used to while blogging was the hardest thing to deal with. Instead of writing something in an hour and putting it up for worldwide consumption, I was toiling at the keyboard for hours a day to satisfy an audience of one — my editor. My editor didn’t get daily updates on what I had written and, while her periodic feedback was insightful and invaluable, the paucity of feedback compared to what I had gotten online caused me to go into approval withdrawal. “What happens if my editor doesn’t like what I’ve been writing the past three months?” I wondered during one particularly crazed detox period. “What happens if she discovers I’ve been unconsciously typing ‘All work and no play make jack a dull boy,’ ten thousand times?”

It was within this crucible that I began to understand why the protagonist suffering from writer’s block in Stephen King’s The Shining transformed into a Shelly Duvall-chasing, hallucinating, axe wielding psycho. Writing a book is hard work. The longest it ever took me to write a blog post was five hours. A book takes months. The job never seems to end and what I was writing often threatened to morph into gibberish. Whenever I did something other than writing, like go to the movies, I suffered from feelings of guilt. Listening as it hummed with malevolent energy, I began to suspect my computer was possessed by evil sprits poised to taunt me every time I took a break. Quite simply, blogging didn’t prepare me for the emotional ferocity of writing a book. It didn’t prepare me for the claustrophobia and fear, the exhausting concentration coupled with tedium, and the isolation compounded by occasionally crying like a little girl. (How embarrassing!) Psychologically speaking, writing a book is like getting into a knife fight with yourself in a phone booth.

I also discovered another truism — you can’t write a book and maintain a blog at the same time. If you try, one or the other is going to suffer — usually both. That was a lesson I had to learn the hard way. When I started my book I used the mornings to write about being a waiter, worked nights as a server in a restaurant, then spent the wee hours blogging about what happened during my shift. That would drive anybody nuts. Eventually, I got so sick and tired of writing about restaurants, that whenever my roommate would flip the channel over to the Food Network, I had to resist the compulsion to shut off the television with a .45 caliber remote control. Since I didn’t want to go to jail and pay for a new television set, I came to the conclusion that something had to give. So I cut back writing on my blog. It was a painful but necessary decision. I love my blog. I love writing for that immediate worldwide audience. But, deep down, I knew I had to temporarily turn my back on the very thing that gave me the opportunity to write Waiter Rant in the first place. Now that the book is completed I hope to return to blogging on a more regular basis. While the marketing wags will tell you that maintaining an online presence is vital, it’s also important never to forget the online readers who helped get you noticed in the first place.

Several days ago the UPS guy delivered 50 copies of my book to my house. When I opened the box and saw the hard cover copies for the first time, I couldn’t keep the smile off my face. Now I’m the second person in my family to write a book. My father penned a murder mystery titled Rude Promenade a short while ago. Now my book can go next to his on the bookshelf. (Proud of you Dad! Now I’m waiting for your next book!) For me, writing my book was an amazing experience that pushed my limits and showed me what I was capable of. And while blogging is a very different animal, I’ll always keep doing it. Writing for an instant internet audience is a laboratory of sorts. You can write humor one day, tragedy the next, and get some real world opinions on what works and what doesn’t. It’ll be good homework for me as I try and write my second book.

I know what you’re thinking. I said I wouldn’t wax philosophical about writing but I did.

Must be an occupational hazard.

This entry originally appeared as a guest blog post at Powells.com.


Comments

Blog Vs. Book — 100 Comments

  1. Fascinating look at writing. I appreciate that you wrote this.

    I’m a prolific blogger and get quite a high from all of the comments – positive or negative – that come my way. I also have a book in the making and was starting to wonder why it was so difficult to get back to it each day.

    What you’ve said here confirms it: writing a book is a lonely process.

  2. At the very least you’ve got your devoted fans who appreciate the effort and energy you put into your writing, both on your blog and for your book :) Proud of you Waiter Steve

  3. Very cool :)
    It’s good to know something came of your blogging and that you were able to progress to the point of a lovely book.
    Very exciting!

  4. Hi,
    I’m suprised to see that I’m only the second to respond.
    I ordered your book, but haven’t received it yet.
    Love to read your blog.

  5. Wow, that’s really interesting. I know the book is still new and all ( I havn’t read it yet. Plan to though.) But now that you’ve had the experience of both would you write another book someday?

  6. Waiter, this was a great read, and I really appreciate you sharing a bit about what’s gone on in your head the last several months. It’s also been great going along for the ride with you the last couple of weeks. You’re handling all the attention very well. Keep it up.

  7. Despite that low output, however, I’ve been very fortunate to have a legion of faithful, some would say fanatical, readers that click over every day, hoping to find a new post. I am very grateful to them. I am also very grateful to blogging.

    I don’t “click over every day,” I have my Google Reader tell me whether or not you’ve updated. I’m sure there’s quite a few others who would have given up on the irregular nature of your posts some time ago without some kind of reader.

  8. I read your book the day it came out. I enjoyed it very much and now have passed it along for others in my life to read it also. I have had positive feedback from them too. I have to say that I learned about your blog while reading an article one day. It was about restaurants and there was a link to your blog in it. So I clicked and there you were. I read that days blog and was intrigued so I decided to go back to the beginning and start new. I am very glad I did. Your book was honest and forthright and I am very happy to say that I am not one of your psycho diners in the least. Best wishes and I hope you achieve great success!

  9. Count me as one of those fanatical readers who looks for constant updates on your blog. I haven’t bought the book yet, mainly because I have so little time to read anymore. I think you’ve done a great job serving the blogging and book communities. Please keep up the blogging and maybe you’ll have enough material for a sequel!

  10. “Psychologically speaking, writing a book is like getting into a knife fight with yourself in a phone booth.”

    Reading this brought a smile to my face. I think you have perfectly described how I feel almost every day, and I’m not even writing a book. I wonder what would happen if I tried…

  11. Hey, it’s so nice to see a blogger that I admire break into the world of real publishing and have success. I’ve been reading your press and it’s so interesting to finally have a face to put behind the narration of your life. Your face has an tiny bit of impishness about it that I think is just right. Good luck with the book (which I have on order) and with your next endeavor, too. Please keep up with the blog if you can!

    Being a refugee from the restaurant world, I feel obliged to add TIP YOUR SERVER, PEOPLE!

  12. You’re in fine company, Steve. Uber-blogger Andrew Sullivan took repeated breaks from his daily steady stream of posts at The Atlantic while writing his last book in ’06 (‘The Conservative Soul’) and he still takes advantage of the luxury of lining up guest bloggers to allow room for reflection, side projects and Cape Cod visits.

    I’m among your fans (millions!) who are glad you set aside the online essays to deliver a long-form result that’s earning international attention.

    And this right here is a vividly original image that show us how you really felt:
    “. . . writing a book is like getting into a knife fight with yourself in a phone booth.”

    Thanks for letting the Founding Admirers here deeper into your world and acknowledging the value of our kibbitzing. I’m surely not the only one who feels a sense of ‘we knew’ pride in seeing you earn wider acclaim.

    Hearty C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S !

  13. Thanks for posting this, Waiter. I have to admit, during the times of drought in posting, I did get very annoyed with your blog – as you said, without the blog, you would never have been in the position to write the book, and as a long-time reader, I felt that you were neglecting the very people who put you in the position of success you were in by failing to update here. Yours wasn’t the only good blog to fall by the wayside when its creator got a book deal, but thusfar, you are the only blogger to acknowledge it. Thanks!

    (And I haven’t bought a copy of your book yet – a student’s budget doesn’t allow for book purchases outside of the campus bookstore, but I’m hoping my library will stock it soon!)

  14. Speaking as one of those “fanatical readers” who clicked on your site every other day for years in the hopes of a new entry, let me say that Quality beats Quantity any day! And yours is the only blog I’ve read consistently for all this time.
    The really cool thing is sometimes I would go a couple weeks without checking and then find two or three new entries…it was like Christmas! Thanks for all the great reads, Waiter. (Sorry, but even though your name and face are now a matter of public record, you’ll always be “Waiter” to me.)

  15. Waiter-

    I know you’re busy. But I’m going to assume that the next update is going to be your third and final post from Powells. You’re recycling!

    I’m just crabby because I want to read a new piece of your writing. You’re style begs to be devoured. I want to see how it translates into different aspects of life.

  16. I love On Writing. I also personally recommend Lamott’s Bird by Bird.

    Journaling is a step towards blogging is a step towards writing. As long as you keep writing (and publishing!) I certainly can’t fault you for not maintaining the blog. Blogging can only work as a crutch for so long, and if you’re lucky, you make the leap.

  17. I’ve read the blog for years and I really loved the book. It seemed more personal somehow. I don’t particularly care what you write or when so long as you keep giving me great stuff to read.

    I hope your editor is willing to take a chance and let you write about something other than restaurants next time. You’re such a keen observer that I’d love to see what else you can do.

  18. Waiter,

    Congratulations on making the leap from blogging to writing a book. You are the envy of many aspiring writers everywhere (myself included), for whom blogging is not quite enough, but provides a temporary enough satisfaction and distraction to keep us writing and not quite giving up. I haven’t had a chance to get your book yet, but I will.

    And please, I do implore you, from a copyeditor’s perspective – give the little people credit! The editor and copyeditor are most times two different people doing two different jobs, but the editor usually gets all the credit for his work AND the copyeditor’s work! If you get a chance . . . give a shout out to the person who copy edited your book, even if you don’t know that person’s name.

    Em

    PS I only bring this up because I am a copyeditor who gets zero credit. :)

  19. Did you say that you are working on another book in the future? that would be so awesome, but I hope you keep blogging too. You have a very unique way with words. I am an “uber” reader, love to read, love books, blogs, whatever, & you are tops at what you’re doing. Keep it up, you deserve what is happening with your book, hope it stays on the NY Times list for a looong time!

  20. I FINALLY got my hands on the book, having to wait to collect it in spite of pre-ordering it… and though I don’t want to stop reading it, I make myself put it down every night and go sleep. It’s an amazing read… you’ve done well!! Your book is the literary equal of a good meal… you want to savour it. Of course, I don’t think many people would really keep their flavourful meal for days just because they wanted to savour it.. hehe :D You know what I mean :)

    Hope we still see regular posts from you here… here’s wishing you luck for whatever life brings you next.

  21. I have the first few chapters of my own novel posted on my art website…I’ve suffered the same issue you do. People ask you to critique their work, and expect you to be this brilliant mastermind that will tell them it’s the greatest thing you’ve ever read, and most of them get mad when you try to help them. People amuse me to no end. Congrats on the book, Waiter. Hopefully this post from you will stop the submissions of manuscripts to your inbox, but it’s unlikely that it will. You have my sympathy on this subject, every bit of it.

  22. so this blog will heretofore be known as “Writer Rant”, no?

    Face it, you’re going to have to go back to waiting tables. Otherwise you’re going to run out of stuff to write about.

    You know it’s true.

    We have an opening for tomorrow’s lunch shift… I’ll just pencil you in for that…

  23. waiter, dont feel bad about letting stuff slide on the blog. one of my favorite authors, laurell k hamilton said in an interview that she wrote her second series because she had a work nightmare about her first! LOL…at least you havent had that experience yet…or have you?? anyway, whatever you decide to post is fine with this texas gal….

  24. As a fellow blogger/writer, I really understand how great the constant feedback/expectation can be. I think this is also part of why NaNoWriMo is such a great success :) Enjoyed the post!

  25. at my blog we are obsessed with COMMENTUDE and we are also obsessed with comments. at least we were when we were college. anyway, no thanks on the sloppy seconds from Powells!!!!

  26. I did it the other way around, I’ve been working on a book for a while and an friend of mine (who just happens to be an avid reader of your blog) suggested that I turn some of my stories of being a children’s entertainer into a blog. I quickly found out that the two forms of the same medium couldn’t be more different. It still takes me a while to write my blog entries and to keep them short. And just like you said how your blog suffered while you worked on your book the opposite is true for me. I’m not a writer and the only thing I’ve read on writing was “On Writing” by Steven King, and after reading it I felt less like a writer. But after seeing your success it helps give the rest of us hope. Congrats to you!!!

  27. Found you via Wil Wheaton’s tweet about this blog, took a look at your book at the Harper Collins site, loved what I read in the previews and downloaded the e-book so I wouldn’t have to wait a moment longer to read it.

  28. Hear, hear!

    You’ve perfectly articulated the struggle I’ve been experiencing recently with my blog and with my other writing duties. And I’m only tasked to write a bite-sized printed column every fortnight!

  29. Well geez, I don’t blame you . . . waiting tables, then writing a book about waiting tables, then writing in your blog about waiting tables. That’s a lot of thinking about a job you weren’t necessarily enjoying.

    I think when bloggers slow down when they get a book deal they’re “betraying” their audience in some way when really, they’re probably busy WRITING THE BOOK. Go figure.

  30. It’s okay to cry like a little girl sometimes. It’s cathartic.

    I have Google reader but I don’t use it. I like the surprise when I click and there’s something new! And I do click just about every day.

  31. Wow! It’s almost like you’ve written about my life right now. I’m finishing my 100,000 word doctoral dissertation and my whole existence encompasses the isolation, self doubt, and periods of near madness that you face when writing a piece with relatively sporadic feedback.

    Thanks for letting me know that I’m not alone and not completely crazy! Promise I won’t send you my manuscript for feedback ;)

    And CONGRATULATIONS on the book.

  32. Waiter, when I first started reading this entry, my heart jumped into my throat for fear you were quitting this blog. I’m very happy to see you plan to continue, as I love reading your wacky adventures. Good luck in all you do, and I’ll be coming back for more.

  33. i find the necessity of DAILY posting means the writer/blogger has to come up with a brilliant topic by each deadline, however, creativity does not typically come based on time constraints.

    this means if you wait to post only when genius strikes on its own timeline, you may lose your audience in the meanwhile.

    IMHO, it’s why there is so much insignificant posting, leaving readers to slog through it all.

    frankD

  34. Pingback: The Agitator » Blog Archive » Links for 8/19/08 AM

  35. well, now that you are no longer faceless, you cannot take the story to a logical next step, which IMHO, would be to see things from a restaurant patrons point of view about servers.

    telling a story usually is more interesting with both sides points of view presented.

    but maybe by taking the waiters view only, you have guaranteed yourself a lifetime of never having to be subjected to the poor quality of service the rest of us have to endure on a daily basis.

    very smart of you !

    frankD

  36. Thanks for sharing these insights. I think a lot of bloggers (myself included) hope to see their efforts become a book deal.
    So much of life is simply choices and decreased blogging for increased book-writing makes sense to me. My dilemma looks like it’s going to be a choice between reading books or writing them.

  37. I didn’t update my blog for a year and all my readers just up and left. But then, I only had a couple dozen to begin with. I just want to say that, if you ever feel the need to take a year off, I’ll still be there when you come back!

    I finished your book last week and was very impressed. I had expected a collection of workplace stories and your book is a lot deeper than that. Not only are you an inspiration for all us bloggers/wannabe writers out there; I would imagine you’re also an inspiration for all those stuck in random careers, not knowing “what they want to be when they grow up”. Congratulations on your success, you deserve it. Now, how bout your next book? some fiction maybe? Your posts and book show a deep understanding of human nature that are imo sign of a good writer. Whatever it ends up being, blog, book, or both, we’ll be happy to read it.

  38. I have to admit, as the date of your book being published drew near, I wondered to myself whether or not you’d get to “big” for us who read your blog. Thankfully, that proved to not be a problem.

    I’ll also (reluctantly) admit I haven’t read your book yet, but it’s on my list. I’ve been reading your blog ever since I landed here from that “StumbleUpon” program. You’ve got something very special going here, and I”m glad you didn’t ditch it at your first chance.

    I’m also glad and impressed to see that you credit your fans so much. A lot of people forget it was the “little people” that got them where they currently are. Keep doing what you’re doing!

  39. Dear Waiter,

    Came across your blog a couple of weeks back and managed to cover a substantial portion of your entries. A very colourful and interesting bunch of entries, I must say. Definitely gave me a lot of insight into the world of waiters.

    One builds an image of the person he is reading about and in my case I do the same, however, not as a sub-conscious event but a concerted effort in trying to put together the image based on the facts presented. And I have been fairly successful in this.

    Seeing your image, finally, has proven to be a surprise. You are not what I had “drawn” you out to be, nor are you the image you presented yourself as. 100 yard stare? Please! No way someone like you is going to pull something even close to a look like the one described by you in numerous posts.

    And then I realised, you are also “one of them”. Massaged facts, glorified versions of stories (maybe stories belonging to others?)showing yourself in the right light, presenting yourself in a picture you oh-so want to be. I must say I was quite dissapointed in you. You have managed to build a fantasy world where you are the super star and hence misled people ablout yourself.

    Before you say so, yes you are at a total liberty to paint any picture you want. Hey! its your paint! But, like I said, you are just another one of them.

    Sad. Another let down.

    Anyways, my heartiest wishes to you on another success story built on the foundation of lies, skewed facts and a dizzy wanna-be world cooked up by you. Another all-American hocus show.

  40. Ive been in the biz for over 20 years. I just discovered your blog,and i read your book yesterday in one day,could not put it down.It was like listening to me-keep up the good work & good luck
    Nick

  41. “Now that the book is completed I hope to return to blogging on a more regular basis.”

    Best news of the morning :-) I’ve been one of those compulsively regular check-for-new post folks. So happy for your success, and selfishly happy that we won’t be “losing” you here.

    Thanks, Writer!

  42. #54: “You have managed to build a fantasy world where you are the super star…”
    Wait… doesn’t everybody do it? yourself included? It is a part of life. Doesn’t make the book/blog any less realistic to me.
    And everybody, even my shy Sheltie, can produce a thousand-yard stare when forced to. Again, a part of life.

  43. Hey Frank #54:

    How dare you criticize the US of A! Another “all-American hocus show?” What are you, some disgruntled foreigner? You pig, you piss for brains, snot-nosed, holier than-thou, pig! I bet seethe with envy that you didn’t win the “life lottery” by being born in America (with respects to Christopher Hitchens).

    Go to hell jerk.

  44. You’d be surprised at who can pull off a true “thousand-yard stare”. Everyone can do it, but some are just especially good at it. I personally am just “okay” at it, but I know some people that can stun a child into silence, a rude jackass into blubbering, a neurotic mess into sudden calm. It’s a sight to behold. One’s a petite, 5 foot tall, 68 year old lady with grey and white hair. She scares me too.

  45. Hello! I am reading your book and I love it. You are so easy to read, and I think that is a huge compliment. And, you are unpretentious. Thank you for a super book!
    Millie

  46. Someone wrote: “Face it, you’re going to have to go back to waiting tables. Otherwise you’re going to run out of stuff to write about.”

    I believe Scott Adams quit his job, the source of his inspiration for the Dilbert cartoon, years ago and yet somehow he still manages to forge ahead. I think he’s managed to do pretty well, even after quitting.

    With this background, people will continue contacting you with all sorts of stories from THEIR experiences waiting tables. What you’ll do with that information, I don’t know. But the point is, you don’t have to go back.

    -Tom

  47. As for people asking you for advice because you’ve written exactly one book…

    I’m not surprised. All it takes to be an “expert” or at least appear to be an expert is knowing just a little more than the person asking the question.

    And it’s true, just having done something ONCE does make you an expert relative to the skills of someone who has never done it.

    -Tom

  48. I just want to say that the comments add tremendously to the blog itself. This blog has attracted a nice following compared to other blogs. Rarely do I read all of the comments on other blogs because so often they are just one “attaboy” after another, but here I do. Tje readers here tell much about their inner lives in a sensitive way. Thanks all.

  49. I’ve never left you a message before but I’ve been reading your blog for over a year now. I hope your book does great and if I wasn’t living on disability payments from SSD I’d buy it. Please keep on writing on your blog! I’m just a fan. Also, you don’t look anything like I thought you would, (Thin, Long haired and English looking) hey, just my perspective. And yet, I love your sense of humor and self. I hope you will eventually find a girl who appreciates you for your talents.

  50. Hey #67 – “The Enthuse…”

    You’re right – Frank is a wimp! I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who thinks you shouldn’t be ashamed to love mom and apple pie. I bet Frank is some pinko-commie “Obama is the saviour” puke liberal sissy.

  51. Hey #69. I am not Frank. And I was calling you a wimp for calling yourself Captain America. Man, you need some help don’t you?

  52. dear captain america (#58),

    my i suggest if you are going to argue with someone, at least get the right person.

    #54 is tHE eNTHUSE (also see #70)

    anyway, be well

    frankD

  53. Off Topic – Can anyone refer me to where I can get
    a black velvet painting of the last supper with Steve serving Jesus and the Apostles. I think Steve had a counterpart who seated them on the second floor 2000 years ago.

  54. I think you did very well, karma wise, protecting your horrible ex co-workers and ex-bosses. Only good karma comes out of that one as I am sure you know they were doing their jobs as best they saw fit. You know what is more amazing than the actual success, was the struggle and the way you cronicled how you tried to get a life, maintain a job, a love life and write a book at the same time. Thanks for taking us on that ride. No wonder we all can’t help but root for you!

  55. Another thing I find MORE amazing. YOU DON’T CENSOR! No, sifting through the comments so only the positive, candy-ass comments go through. Totally cool!

  56. Happy for you, no one deserves it more. Almost sad for the readers who quietly enjoyed the blog for years, a secret treasured vice. Thank you . . .

  57. please help me find the discussion RE – WHAT DO SERVERS THINK ABOUT OTHER SERVERS SERVICE ?

    it’s one thing to pit customer v server in endless debate about service BUT i really would like to know what the servers, when they occassionally are the customer (and being served) think of the service provided

    frankD

  58. I love that you said you don’t have any writing education. I have a very simple blog, but am working on a much better, more sophisticated one. I have no writin’ education either, but feel like I have plenty to say. You give me hope. Congratulations on the book, I wish you the best and I love coming here! I have 15+ years in the service industry, I have felt your pain and joys.

    Thanks again!
    jess

  59. Listen Frank D (for Duh!?) and the Enthuse, you pansy-ass, flag-burning, nihilistic, self-absorbed commie-loving pinko Mao-ists: I dont care what you say, I love the US of A, and I will not have you bums disparage it!

    Again, my original comment was a reply to the jerk insult about an “all American-hocus show.” If you really feel that way moron, that somehow you must insult waiter on the grounds of his being American – then how is that any different from disparaging someone based on race or religion? Maybe Waiter is Jewish – how about “all Jew-hocus show.” Doesn’t sound very nice, does it. What if Waiter was black? How would you describe that?…”all-black hocus show,” or “all-darkie hocus show,” or something even worse?

    No, you wouldn’t do that – black / hispanic racism is not excusable, so you, or others inclined in such ways, wouldn’t do that least you compromise your highly idealized versions of yourself. But when it comes to disparaging an American…well, then that’s fair game.

    Again – go to hell jerks! This is America, and if you dont like it, then shut the hell up and leave! If you’re an outsider criticizing my country, then up your nose with a rubber hose (frayed on the end, of course, to cause maximum difficulty when you reach for that midnight snack of nose cheese).

  60. This is a great post — thanks for writing it. I’ve just been contacted by some folks in the publishing industry about writing a book based on my blog, and have been working at it for about a month. I keep wondering, “Is it supposed to be this hard?! This is SO much harder than blogging!” and was dying to know if anyone else had experienced that as well. A friend pointed me to this post and I’m so glad I read it. Thanks for sharing!

  61. Captain America – instead of Toby Keith-ing all over Waiter’s blog, how about you find a more suitable venue for your vitriol?

  62. How about Blog Vs. Book Vs. TV series next?

    Belle Du Jour went from blog to book to the UK TV series Confessions of a London Call Girl. But not having tits shown onscreen might put you at a distinct disadvantage.

  63. I just wanted add a couples of lines to your long and impressive list of comments.

    First let me congratulate you for becoming a book author and I wish you every success in selling hundreds of thousands of copies.

    Your writing style shows a lot of penmanship which will surely help expose your book to the widest of audiences.

    I haven’t yet read your book but I feel tempted to buy it, is there some other part of the blog that has excerpts that could to help make up my mind?

    As a long time chef you have no I idea how hard it is for me to be so complimentary to a waiter, (spit)….see even my tongue hurts when I say the word in a deferential way.

    Best wishes
    kevin

  64. I hope that whatever you choose to do, it will be because you want it deep down in your heart. You did a great job with this blog, and hopefully I’ll get to read your book soon.

    I just have one question. With this blog being about your life as a waiter, what will happen to it if you quit your job? (I’m assuming that you’ll leave because of the success of your book, and the difficulty of maintaining both a writing career AND being a waiter)

  65. Well, gee weese. I adore your book, I’m almost finished with it. I wouldn’t mind, oh heck, I’d love to read your next one. This blog is impressive. I want to do it too!! I must be crazy. Writers do that. C:

  66. Waiter,

    Glad me & my psychology degree (that worked for attorneys for ten years, wrote residential mortgages for five years, delivered frozen food from the yellow truck with a swan and packages from the brown one, then financed business equipment at 30% +/-, then stocked shelves at 4:00 AM at a big box, catering for 15,000 at NASCAR races and now selling software because of WEB 2.0, social networking and collaboration) found you, your blog & your book. Through it all I like serving food. In fact, I thrive in that environment. I look forward to the next three nights because I’ll be in my element. So much so that I’m considering restaurant management, or maybe starting a blog or writing a book . . . Thanks Steve! Paul

  67. I’ve been trying to write a book for ages. I felt overwhelmed on all that I wanted to say. I finally was able to summarize what I wanted to say in a few words. I realized that those short messages was all I needed to say so had it published.

    I started blogging and it was so much easier to express what I thought about the moment or current situation but I still want to write the original thick book I had in mind.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Glad

    http://www.feelgoodthoughts.com

  68. NASCAR is set to have a NASCAR Hall of Fame which will honor NASCAR drivers, crew chiefs and owners who have achieved greatness, as well as other people who have made significant contributions to the sport. In 2006 NASCAR finally decided to build its Hall of Fame in Charlotte North Carolina. In order to reach the opening date of March 2010 and the initial class induction later that year, ground breaking took place in January of 2007…

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  70. I saw the cheeky UK version of your book at the airport, placed in a bottom most part of the shelf. I just wanted to browse a few pages, but ended up buying the book. And now have read through your blog. Love your writing, and looking forward to your next one!

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