Posted on 03.27.2017

Honesty and Me

As I write this column, I have just finished my next to final edit on Never Look at The Empty Seats, my autobiography which will be released in October.

I was working from what the publisher calls a copy edit which is actually a copy of the manuscript which has been gone over line by line by a copy editor and any misspellings, or punctuation errors, sources not identified or anything that, in the editor's opinion, bears questioning are pointed out and noted.

I go over the suggestions and make changes where I deem necessary by making pencil notes in the margin, sometimes accepting them, sometimes rejecting them, especially if I feel that that editor's correction of my grammar has interrupted my narrative insofar as vocabulary and flow is concerned, as I want the narrative to reflect my speech patterns and vernacular. Questionable grammar notwithstanding.

As I went through what has been the culmination of twenty years of writing, rewriting, rejecting, starting over and having to go back to add some newly remembered old memory, I tried to be meticulous, especially where my personal beliefs and philosophies are concerned, about saying exactly what I believe.

Accepting that soon what I have written will be available for all to read I wanted to be totally truthful, honestly conveying the ups, downs and sideways of my life as cogently as possible, a clear and precise account of the life of a chubby, far sighted Tar Heel kid whose been showered with God's blessings and protection and has lived a life he didn't even have the imagination to dream about when he first cut the apron strings and walked out into a world he knew very little about.

The hardest and most painstaking and difficult chapter to write was the one on my faith, to attempt to document my journey, my personal beliefs and how I arrived at them was a soul-searching experience to say the least.

One of the reasons it took me so long to finish the book is that, with my ongoing career and no intention of retiring from it, I just couldn't find a stopping, or more accurately, a pausing place.

Where do you end the story when you're having new and noteworthy experiences and new and exciting things are happening in your life.

Well, the decision was made plain for me when I was told I was to become a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. It just seemed a great place for taking a deep breath, pause the narrative, and maybe leave the new chapters of my life to be documented by me or maybe someone else at a later date, if deemed necessary.

This whole period has been an experience of being honest with yourself and honest about yourself as I divulged some things that I'm not very proud of and the decision to include the ones which had direct effect on the directions I've taken and the man I've become are part of the story and needed to be included, personal feelings notwithstanding.

I wanted to help mentor any sincere young person who is considering a career in the music business, by relating some of the pitfalls I've been a victim of and hopefully pointing out some ways to help them avoid them.

I've had a lot of emotions come into play, reliving 80 years of life and sixty plus years of being a professional musician and seeing this next to last chance of getting it right I guess kinda brought it all home in a condensed fashion.

The i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed, the stories are told and my life, with all its ups and downs has been committed to print for all the world to see.

It's a humbling experience.

What do you think?

Pray for our troops, our police and the peace of Jerusalem.

God Bless America

— Charlie Daniels


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