When you think about 2012, what comes to mind? Is it ancient predictions of the end of the world? A new president? John Cusack? With all that’s going on in the world, 2012 seems to have a mysterious, and looming, connotation associated with it.
The mystery and intrigue that surrounds 2012 is the backdrop for Kevin Carrigan’s new novel, “The Last Election.” Set in the near-future, it’s part political thriller and part supernatural mystery. The plot is a twisted tale that involves Mayan prophecies and political conspiracies. Check it out here.
A while ago, I got the chance to sit down with Kevin (Last Election author) for a brief interview about his new book. He was the first bona-fide author I’ve met, let alone interviewed. So, this was an exciting meeting. I mean, how much more entrepreneurial can you get than an author? I’ve always felt that authorship would be more difficult than other ventures, mainly because authors can’t hide. Their work is on display, permanently connected with their name. It takes a special kind of person to put himself out there like that, and Kevin is definitely one of those people.
I’ve always wanted to be an author. Sure, I have a blog, but that doesn’t mean I can call myself an author. Anyone can jot down his thoughts. It takes dedication, practice and determination to become a true author.
My interview was the perfect opportunity to learn from someone who’s actually done something pretty significant….becoming an author.
So, here’s what I wanted to have answered during my interview…if someone like me (blogger) wants to reach a high goal (becoming a real author), what do I need to have? Here’s what I found.
1: Have a plan
Brining a story together takes a lot of mental thought. There are various story lines to keep up with, characters you have to develop and an audience you have to guide. With everything that goes into writing a book, you have to have a plan. Kevin used color-coding system for his story lines and made sure that each one was meticulously thought-out and planned. Sure, inspiration can’t be planned, but you have to have, at least, an idea of where you are going.
2. Push Past Walls
Every time you do something worthwhile, there will be resistance. Resistance is, as Steven Pressfield puts it, our “true-north.” Meaning, every time we are faced with resistance, we can know we are doing what we are supposed to be doing. Kevin is no exception. To bring his book to market, he’s had to push past having his computer (the one with his story in it) stolen in Afghanistan, throwing out entire chapters and working ridiculous hours. Ultimately, his ability to face down resistance made way for him to accomplish something that many people want to have done but not do…write a book.
3. Write Your Own Story
Everyone has an opinion. That doesn’t mean every opinion is valid. Sure, when you’re trying to bring something to market, be sure to do research first. Ask people, “What do you think about _____.” Doing this could give you a gold nugget of clarity and positively impact your business. However, you have to know when to stop asking for other’s opinions and do what you know you should do. Kevin put it in simpler terms. Just write your story. In the end, you’re trying to accomplish something that’s your own. Don’t try to please everyone. Take into account what other people think (don’t ignore your markets), but don’t overdo it. You’re the one that’s creating. Why not make it yours?
Accomplishment is too easily described as the outcome….like, “…they climbed Mount Everest.” But, that isn’t the story at all. The value of accomplishment is in the journey. I want to know what happened while you were climbing the mountain. What’s it like writing a book?
If you’ve ever wanted to do something significant, but are hesitant about facing the problems and pressures that go along with it, ask yourself why. That’s the best part! Think about all that you will learn and experience. Even if you fail, you’ll be smarter for it.
When we talk about our lives, we say things like “I’m a doctor” … “I’m an author.” Even though it’s true, it’s not interesting or important. The biggest (and most interesting) aspects of being who we are can be found in the experiences we’ve had, are having and will have. So, embrace the hard times. Dig deeper. Start out to do that thing you’ve been putting off. Because, these experiences build endurance, create hope and give the world something new…like a well-written book.