Dear John: We Read You First


Today, especially today, we can’t turn around without hearing about something else amazing you’ve done. Your book is now a movie (yet not for the first time). You’re flying around VidCon like a superhero right now, because to those outside your circle, you can do anything, and you have nothing but positive messages to leave in your wake. You’re in this country. On that talk show. Hanging out with this person. Being awesome, as always. Always.

But you see, John, there’s something we’ve been meaning to talk with you about. We, the ones who have stuck with you since the beginning. We, the ones who were reading your books before anyone really knew who you were and why you were so awesome.

Before we followed you into Nerfighteria, John, we loved your books, and we loved you for writing them, and we want nothing more than to continue to breathe in the products of your literary madness (the good kind). We still love you. However, we can only read and reread your books so many times before we lose our own minds.

John, please. For the good of the people. For the sanity of nerd-saturated humanity. Finish writing your next book. Soon.

It’s not that we don’t love your weekly exchanges with Hank; CrashCourse; Mental Floss; your Twitter addiction (but please, don’t stop tweeting, we need our daily fix). But you can’t forget where you came from. You can’t forget the words that started it all, the stories that shaped your career, the pages filled with inspiration we secretly reread again and again, as if we can’t get enough.

There seems to be a pattern in the timeline of your previous publications of the novel variety, John. And based on what we’re seeing, we don’t like the predictable outcome.

Looking for Alaska (2005)

An Abundance of Katherines (2006)

Paper Towns (2008)

Will Grayson, Will Grayson (2010)

The Fault In Our Stars (2012)

Your first two releases were only a year apart; the third, fourth and fifth: two years between each. It is now over halfway through 2015, meaning it has been over three years since the January 2012 release of your most recent book, and WE ARE SUFFOCATING.

Even if this pattern continued, and the book you may or may not be working on right now somehow miraculously got a 2016 release date, this is still a very long time for us to wait. Remember, we read you before we watched you. Your words are part of us. Forever.

You are honest, John, and you make us all laugh whether we need to or we don’t. But you also understand your audience better than anyone. You know what resonates with us. You know what matters to us. You care about what we care about. Your books reflect that. And reading them makes us care even if we didn’t know we weren’t.

We know life gets busy, and there’s family and adulting and the never FTBA’ing, but you’re a writer. You need to write words as much as any of us, more than many of us need to read them. It can’t be healthy to keep even yourself away from this element of your work. And sure, you’re probably writing a little every day, in cars, on planes, stuck in airports. But promise us you haven’t forgotten. Promise us there will be more words.

Hurry home, John. Write a little. Write a lot. Write because you love it. And because, shamelessly, we need you never to stop.

Love&hugs, your readers<3

Image courtesy of the Hollywood Reporter.

A recent graduate with a B.A. in English and a completed major in nutrition, currently seeking a graduate degree in health communication, Meg is a twenty-something workaholic with a passion for writing, coffee and dietetics. In addition to her status as an aspiring novelist and Grammar Nazi (and the mastermind behind this site), Meg is an editor for College Lifestyles magazine and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine’s Stone Soup.  She is a seven-time NaNoWriMo winner and has written several creative pieces for Teen Ink magazine. Follow Meg on Twitter. 

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