Advice to Bryson and Young People Like Him

The acknowledgment page for an as-yet-unwritten book on the “Law of Attraction.”

Without ever having met me before or knowing really anything about my work as a writer you have asked me to put your name in my future book.

Can you put my name in your book? It’s real easy, just Bryson, B-R-Y-S-O-N.”

I have chosen the acknowledgment page of this book for the task despite your insistence that it be any book I write in my career (presumably hoping for something more glamorous, like having a character named after you).

However, properly manifesting the specific thing you desire requires being specific in your communication about what you want. This includes being specific about why you want it/should get it if getting it requires action on the part of someone else.

If you’re sole desire was to see your name in print, congratulations, you have met with success because I sometimes make promises I shouldn’t when I’m tired and late to my dinner sandwich.

If you’re looking to have as many published works bear your name as possible as a sort of challenge to yourself and the world, take out a classified ad or something that simply says “Bryson” and use it as evidence of such when asking others to print your name in the future.

It never hurts to ask for what you want, oftentimes that is the only way to get it; but, it can certainly hurt your chances if you don’t give someone a good reason to go out of their way to do something for you (and easy spelling is certainly a reason, just not a good one).

Also, if you were in fact hoping to have a character named after you, do some research on your name’s origin and meaning and literary heritage (or lack thereof) with which to persuade a writer. Jack, for instance, is much easier to spell than Bryson and has a fairy tale-rich legacy. Though only one of those is the actual reason Jack is used in this particular book, and it isn’t the spelling.

By the way, thank you for inadvertently playing the role of Jack (this wouldn’t be much of an acknowledgment page if I didn’t at least thank you). Sorry I can’t tell you in which version of the story you can find your Jack-parallel, but — you know — spoilers and all.

Also published on Medium.