Pausing briefly from writing my typical blog content, this one is the result of a series of requests from a bunch of subscribers asking me to share details of the new book. Specifically, some candid thoughts on it now they have read it. Being uncertain initially, I hesitated to write this one. But then, it made a lot of sense to do so. Why not tell a bit more about some of the inner workings associated with the process. I am flattered to have so many people ask for additional detail on my current projects, so here you go…
On Friday, March 27, 2020, the rest of the world crashed into mine in a huge way. A deeper glimpse into who I am, what I am all about, and many of the life lessons I have to offer. That day, Adversity Rockstar © my self-help book became a reality. Almost surreal to have it released and be available for anyone who chooses to apply the concepts detailed inside of it. As the very first copy sold, the countless hours spent on crafting it were all instantly validated. When the positive feedback came in, my own sense of self-satisfaction had also expanded. I knew I was helping people.
Being a guy who has faced an absolutely incredible amount of adversities in my lifetime, to say I am well-seasoned is an understatement. For some unknown reason, I was chosen to carry this load. Perhaps because it was also known by the Invisible One’s (fate and destiny) I could handle it. Fully capable of sharing to heal others via the retelling of my own life trials and methods of coping. I used to be an executive for several Fortune 500 corporations, what a cool transition this has been!
When you are able to draw from a deep catalog of experiences, it almost makes perfect sense to capture and then detail as much as you can in whatever form is most comfortable. So, in addition to speaking, blogging, and writing a ton of training material, composing a book was a logical extension for my brand and for who I am as a person.
The concept of composing was nothing new to me. It really all began by my sons’ hospital bed back in 2008 as my own personal way to process. Each and every day, I added my thoughts and feelings to a personal journal I kept. We were existing in a certain hell at the time. Doing so was one of the few sources of comfort available to me. There was absolutely zero structure or intent of turning it into a book one day. I simply wanted everyone to remember him.
There was a high chance my son was not going to survive his medical ordeal, I wanted to capture each and every moment of his time with us on this earth. He was two years old, every extra day was a gift back then. So, I wrote, and I wrote and wrote. Detailing every feeling, every conversation, every contemplation, and every immediate reaction to what had been transpiring. Even today, some of those entries remain locked in the pages of the journal. They will surface when the time is appropriate, I am certain.
When speaking about how I pushed through some of the more difficult ordeals with my child. For a long time, my comments had been pretty generic. I knew the true response, but it was much too long to fully volunteer. I created a framework, structured it, and then placed it into a model that subsequently became the core to Adversity Rockstar.
For a dozen years, I also labored at the same time, over my completing the manuscript. I titled it Stealing Home © specifically intending to one day tell his story and the impact it had on destroying our family unit as we knew it. People have asked me over and over again for many years now, “did your book ever come out? ” To which I frustrate and overwhelm sometimes. It has been revised and rewritten well over 30 times now in-part and in its entirety. But, YES, IT IS DONE!
There were days it never seemed possible of it ever coming to conclusion. But then one day last spring, the creative juices flowed freely and I finally was able to write the conclusion to it. Because the story doesn’t have a proper ending, tying it up in some form of a comprehensive happily-ever-after bundle, was extremely challenging. How do you retell an ending which hasn’t yet happened? Never fear, I figured it out eventually. It has taken many, many twists and turns over the years but I feel the final, final version is just awesome. I am out of my head proud of this book.
During the journaling process, I was forced to re-examine how I fared while facing so many of the adversities contained therein. The only way to convey our story was to bring the reader into my severely fragile mind during those darker times, in full glorious, painfully heart-wrenching detail. In doing so, I reviewed extensively the peaks and valleys to many of our experiences and contrasted exactly how I handled them.
Often, I fell flat and failed on many days, while other times I became victorious. The framework of the repetition slowly became apparent and subsequently took form in the creation of my Change Navigation Model ® . From there, the wheels began turning in my mind again. I could alternate my thoughts, and then craft two, separate-but-complementing literary works simultaneously. The first to share our intimate story, and the second to offer assistance for those experiencing tough stuff in life…perfect.
Like everything else I do, somehow it seemed appropriate for me to scribe both works at the same time. Why write one, when I can give back by writing two books. As I mentioned in one of the chapters of Adversity Rockstar, this type of character trait within me exists on just about everything I attempt for some reason. I always choose to select a more challenging path to completion. Trust me, it isn’t easy being me.
The editing process was an eyeopener because my attention to detail become my best ally and my worst enemy rolled into one. There were days I worked twenty-hours straight reviewing, rewriting, and frustrating with myself. I feel bad for my editor because when she countersigned our partnership, there was no way of her ever knowing how truly microscopic I am. I examined every period, comma, and space throughout all 247 pages in that thing. And then I did all over again for the autobiography. It is more than fair to share with you we changed over 400 items in the first revision. When I say it was a difficult process to finish the self-help book…it was grueling for both of us. I always stand by my convictions knowing if I am going to put on a literary work for the public to read or place some amount of faith and trust in..it has to be absolutely perfect. I will never settle on subpar quality of workmanship.
Thankfully it all worked out for all parties involved. We are still friends and we are extremely proud of the book. In fact, it has even won an award from the publishing company. Elena and I made it happen together, for this we are richly accomplished. Deep down, she is probably very happy for the project to be over with though!
The day I received the first copy for revision, placed my eyes on the cover art, and then saw my dream become something tangible, was a day I won’t soon forget. It is an awesome feeling to know persistence, vision, and empathy can coexist and create something meaningful in the end.
If the book is constructive in aiding just one person on their life journey, it was all worth it and I’d do it again in an instant. I feel totally satisfied I wrote it. But the sense of independent spirit within me won’t allow those feelings to remain for a very long. If you know me at all, you understand completely.
The upcoming autobiography mentioned earlier has driven me one side-from-crazy, for upwards of 12 years. While composing the manuscript, it brought back memories of a being in a very dark place and a very hopeful place. If I actually knew how many hours were spent on writing our story in book form, most people would not believe it had I told them. Factually, it has taken thousands and thousands and thousands of hours to write both books, but I would do it again in an instant.
I purposely released the self-help book first, so folks might better understand who I am before they are brought into our own personal hell, unleashed fully in gloriously, painful heartbreaking detail after detail. It will probably be coming out this fall or early winter, as I absolutely cannot wait for people to read that book. It will change your life, I absolutely know it. It is very raw, very emotional and I hold absolutely nothing back in it. You will cry.
In a recent interview, it had been asked if there shall be a book number three coming any time soon. My response was in two parts; “another one is flowing actively in the creative reaches of my mind right now and has already been put into a word document.” And second I replied…” why settle on writing book number three when I can craft book number four at the same time.” It too has already taken great form and structure.
The more I consider my earlier statement the more I agree with it.
It definitely is not easy being me.