Introduction to the Book I Haven’t Written

By Ashley Ingle

Photo by Carlos Espinoza on

Whenever I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said “writer.” I knew this profession was my calling, and so I’ve never worked in places where my creativity would be contained by a micro-managing boss, or where I might be forced to deal with demanding customers or petty coworkers. As a result, my open schedule has always left a lot of room for writing. And I’ve used all of that time productively; I wrote a book!

Part of the fun of reading this finished product is thinking about all the fun places I created it in. Sometimes I sat in a funky café, sipping on artisan coffee while supporting local business. Other times I was able to pen two thousand words in my living room while my toddler took a peaceful, scheduled nap. Once, my husband and I decided to get out of town for a few days so I could really get some writing done; we rented an adorable cabin on an alpine lake where I was able to craft four chapters. (I also mastered one-footed water-skiing and perfected the art of s’more making!) 

I researched for countless hours and remained focused on this project, never choosing to mindlessly scroll through Twitter or look up John Mulaney’s dog, Petunia, on Instagram. I avoided the distraction of going down YouTube rabbit holes or rewatching Parks and Rec all the way through for the 10th time. What follows this introduction is the result of intensive, painstaking inquiry that doesn’t just rely on my personal experiences and perspectives; it’s a holistic, objective viewpoint that holds up even under intense scrutiny. And I never relied on Wikipedia. Also, every time I sent an email to a potential interviewee, they responded quickly and politely, offering to answer all of my questions with great detail. 

The whole time I worked on this, I knew I was writing something special. I never thought for even a second that what I was writing was absolute trash nor wondered if anyone besides my mother would ever read this book. 

I wish I could give other authors tips on what to do if writer’s block sets in, but I never experienced that phenomenon! The thoughts just kept coming to me and each epiphany related to the other insights I had. It was always easy to see how these individual pieces could come together to craft a coherent, meaningful whole. 

You’re going to get a lot out of this book. Your world is going to be turned upside-down; you’re going to be exposed to ideas that challenge the way you think and how you view the world. It’s going to make you pause and say, “Hmm” with your index finger touching your chin. It’s going to make you laugh so hard you’ll double over and clutch your stomach. It’s going to make you weep and cry a few times because you’ll relate so closely to what I’ve said that you feel like someone has finally understood you. You’ll find solace and wisdom between these pages that will shape who you are from this day forward. You’re probably reading the next great American novel. 

Ok, enough pre-ambling! Let’s get to the first page of this thing!

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