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An author's journey from addiction to domination

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TheJackal

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 19, 2017
60
132
138
Tennessee
(Prologue: This is my story, but I hope it hits home for one person who's thinking the same way I did. I don't lecture and I don't judge. I just tell stories. I'll leave it at that)

I write for a living. Before you ask, no I didn't go to school for to study creative writing and no I didn't major in English. In fact, I almost failed out of college. Lucky for me a couple people saw something in me, but that's a story for another day.

Fast forward to 2012 and the world gets to see my first book. It was a fun novel to write and really I was just happy to have it out of my brain and on paper. Never in a million years did I think that a) I qualified to be an author, or b) I could do it for a living.

I was wrong on both counts.

Since I'd already failed (and learned) from no less than four forrays in network marketing, three failed business ventures, and a current company I hated running, the stars had finally aligned for me to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up.

I did a lot of what MJ talks about in his books. I provided value. I honed my craft. I found like-minded authors to learn from.

I was winning.

Awesome, right? Yeah. I was making $30k/mo writing stories. My readers couldn't get enough.

Write on!

But deep inside I was hiding something. The wins meant more celebration. My best friend in celebration? Jacque Daniels.

Man were we tight. He helped numb my wound-up brain and I took care of his livelihood. On and on we went. One win after another.

No DUIs. No slips down the stairs. No mistress on the side.

But I saw it coming. The cliff on the horizon. Like the devil reaching on arm up from his fiery abyss, I felt it.

I'd thought about quitting for a long time. That's sounds funny to me now. I'd "thought" about doing something. You've gotta understand, I'm an action guy. To think and not act is NOT in my nature.

Then the slap came.

The universe put certain people in my path who I was lucky enough to learn from. I realized a very important thing: I'd lost control. I had all the talent and all the drive, but this one thing, the though of a shot of tequila or a sip of cask-strength bourbon, was too much to say no to.

Bullshit.

Something in me cracked. Maybe it was the fact that I couldn't remember the last day I hadn't had a drink. And when I say drink I mean eight to ten. That was a normal day for me. Weekends were closer to 20. Totally functioning. Never during the day but once 4:30-5pm rolled around... drink in hand, buddy. I'd sneak shots of vodka as I poured my next hefty cocktail. It owned me.

I was afraid of quitting.

Afraid that my friends wouldn't think I was cool anymore.
Afraid that I wouldn't know how to have fun anymore.
Afraid that I would be me anymore.

Dumb f*ck.

I won't go into the other crap that sped through my brain. My family. My wife. My kids. My livelihood.

Enough.

May 8th was the day I made the decision. May 8th was the day I quit. May 8th was the start of a new journey.

I'm not sure what I expected. Angels to sing? Fans to pour in to ask for my autograph? A letter from The Pope?

I'll be honest. I thought I'd have this jolt of sustained energy that would rocket my career into the stratosphere. Nope. The opposite happened. I felt like I could've slept for years.

Another unfortunate side effect: my brain tuned out. I couldn't focus. I couldn't create.

Crap. I'm an author and my creativity's gone. Shit.

That lasted for a good six weeks. I will say that I slept like a baby. While refreshing, I still needed more. I wanted my mojo back.

Parties were interesting. I'd get the questions and the random congratulations. Cool but not cool. I felt like I was in middle school again, the awkward kid with braces with no one to dance with.

I'm lucky. I have an amazing wife. She supported me through 10 years of failure. God do I love her for that and so much more. But I thought I was failing her too. She shouldn't have to make excuses for me.

"My husband will have some club soda with lime because he doesn't drink anymore."

I was embarrassed. I was confused.

Add to that, business slowed. My once prolific productivity (I've published 5-6 novels a year since 2013-ish) was in the shithole. Time after time more crap piled up. It was like the fiery pit guy was tempting me back. "Fail so we can have a drink together."

It was tempting.

May 8th was quitting. It's December now. Almost Christmas. Do you know how much booze is consumed at Christmas parties? A lot.

Don't worry. I don't drool when I see a drink in someone's hand. I laugh it off inside and grab another La Croix.

If you're looking for a rosy ending, sorry. I have amazing days and some shitty ones. The awesome days are piling up faster now. What's gotten me through is my family, meditation, faith in something, and the seeds that books like Unscripted plant in my life.

I take it one day at a time.

Onward, good friend.

So there it is. I've taken back the tentative control. I own me. I own my life. I own my business.

It's not always pretty and it's never perfect, but that's life. Dirty, gritty and winding. f*ck if I don't love it.
 

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Bert B

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jun 10, 2018
30
24
47
Ireland
Hey, well done on your sobriety!

I am wondering how you have written so well without a major in English or Creative writing?
Who did you learn from and how did you hone your craft?
 

TheJackal

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 19, 2017
60
132
138
Tennessee
Hey, well done on your sobriety!

I am wondering how you have written so well without a major in English or Creative writing?
Who did you learn from and how did you hone your craft?
I read A LOT and kept honing my craft by writing. Like anything it took a lot of practice. Hope that helps!
 

TheJackal

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 19, 2017
60
132
138
Tennessee
Do you have a link to your work for sale? Also, did you self-distribute as your business model?
Can't provide a link (just following anonymity examples of others around here), but yes, I have done all distribution myself. Hope that helps!
 

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