My path to becoming an author video
Last week I presented to some Calgary junior high kids at a career day. I was asked to tell them how I became an author. It was a fun event where I was grouped with other professionals who also presented. There was me, a CFL football player, Rocco Romano, who is in the Hall of Fame (how cool is that!), and an artist who paints with various mediums. We were categorized in the room called “other”. Unlike the doctors, lawyers, architects and police, we were hard to categorize. I guess you could have called us “niche” or “various” or “random” but whatever you call us, we were all people who were making things up as we went.
I told the kids that the key to becoming an author is DON’T FOLLOW THE RULES. That is the key to doing many creative pursuits. Unlike becoming a doctor or a lawyer, there is no “author degree”. For those who want to write fiction, you can take creative writing courses in university, which doesn’t make you an author but will help make you a better writer. For those people like me who write guidebooks, cookbooks, self-help, instructional or non-fiction, you are simply taking your passion, your expertise, and making a book out of it. No degree for that.
It all starts with a “great idea” (the easy part) and then follows with making that idea become a reality (the hard part). To become an author, I told them, it helps a lot to be very self-motivated and also, to really enjoy working on your own, without any feedback on whether you are doing a good job. Oh yes, and be prepared to crash and burn; to fail. Not all of your ideas of great. And that’s okay. Just get back up and start over, with another idea. And when you find the right idea, the one that makes you really excited, that makes you animated, then the next step is to sell that idea. You could “sell” it to a publisher or, if you self-publish, to your end user, or the book store, or to a distributor. TELL EVERYONE WHAT YOU WANT TO DO and don’t be afraid to try and do it.
There are many paths, be creative, make things up. Here’s my career day video on my path to becoming an author .