During the summer of 2009, I decided to write a book. Just the thought was enough to make me feel all giddy inside. Crazy, huh? I don’t know why. I had never written a book before, nor had I ever had the desire. Scratch that. I did try to write a book while in college. I wrote two pages and then my hand started to cramp. I stopped immediately. I remember thinking, why would anyone want to endure that?
When I started writing my book, I had no idea what I was doing. In fact, I didn’t even know how to start. But I decided early on not to get caught up in process. Fuck it. I was going to do it my way. A story is a story, right? I just started writing. I didn’t bother with rules or structure or whether it made sense or if there were typos or if the grammar was right, I concentrated on getting the story down as fast as I could think it up. I didn’t have an outline. Didn’t know I needed one. I just knew it was going to be about a guy who decides to sell wireless business solutions to organized crime. That’s it.
I wrote a few thousand words before I realized I wanted to be an author. That’s all it took for me to begin shutting the door on my life as an ad man.
I spent twenty years in advertising. I’ve created advertisements in every medium possible. It’s allowed me to travel around the world, to meet athletes and celebrities, to stay in five-star hotels and dine in Michelin rated restaurants. Heck, I even starred in one of my commercials. I looked forward to Mondays. My job was fun. It wasn’t work. I thought up ideas and big ass corporations paid millions of dollars to turn them into an ad. They spent millions more in media to run them on TV, the radio, in magazines or on the web. They also sold a lot of product because of it. There was never a shortage of ego stroking—all I could ask for.
So why was I losing interest?
Advertising was no longer fulfilling my creative needs. It became work. There were no butterflies in my stomach. The passion was diminishing. It got harder and harder for me to get jazzed about what I was doing. I realized it was because I was doing less creating and more doing. As in do this, make it like that and so on. It fucking bored me. Plus I was managing more and doing less work, I had peeked around the magic curtain and saw that it was all fake. I thought I was doing cool creative shit. Nope, just making fucking ads.
Writing books. That reignited the fire. I could create any world I wanted. There was no brief, no strategy to adhere to. I had no time limits. No one told me what to write. No one told me what to do. I didn’t have to run my ideas by anyone one. I had complete control and I loved it. It was pure. The part of advertising that sucked me in for so long was now 100% of the project, not 35%. I knew before I finished my first draft that I wanted to become an author. That was my exit out of advertising. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy or fast. But it would be fun.
So here I am, exactly one year after I published my first novel. Guess what? I love it. Every bit of it. Within my first year as an author, I’ve published two novels, a novella and a short story. I have a third novel coming out in a few weeks and I’m currently writing my fourth book. Thousands of people have bought my books. Many have emailed me to let me know how much the like them. Being an author is a new chapter in my life. I expect to enjoy it for a long, long time.