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Brian Kessler


Hello Again?

First of all, I'm glad to see this site and community have continued to flourish during my hiatus. I'm not saying I had anything to do with it. I'm just really pleased to come back and see it going strong, and even with some new features.

I would like to share a recent accomplishment that I am proud of. First and foremost, with some indirect encouragement from James Altucher, I wrote and self-published my first (possibly my only) novel. The push came from a pinned post by James right here on NotePD, where he encouraged members to write and publish a non-fiction book using a few free tools he listed in the post. I tried, but I couldn't settle on a topic I felt passionate enough about write about at the time. So, I decided to write a fiction novel.

I felt like I had a story to tell. After several rewrites of the first chapter, I finally found my voice and decided to tell the story as I wanted to read it. I learned that writing the story I wanted to read helped me immensely. The writing process became easier each day and before long, my novel was over 80,000 words. I finished at just under 100k words and then edited it down by several thousand until I was happy with the completed story. I also learned that editing your own writing is a painful process.

Imposter syndrome gut punched every day. "Who am I to write a novel? Why would anyone want to read this trash? You're no writer! You're a blue-collar, college dropout. Stop wasting time writing and go fix something!" I'm not exaggerating when I say this is my self-talk. I did take breaks. The self-talk would occasionally beat me into submission, and I'd give up on the whole thing. However, after a few days, I'd squash my self-doubt and get back to work.

I decided the story and writing were as good as I could make them, found someone on Fiverr to create a cover, and published it on Amazon. I decided to publish under the pen name, Mitch Kaden. Why? Mostly because of my own insecurity, but the book is out there in the world, and I couldn't be prouder to have accomplished something that was way outside of my wheelhouse. Yay me!

My reason for sharing this today is to encourage you to go out and do something that makes you uncomfortable. Try something you've always wanted to do but have no business doing. Do something that people who know you would question. "YOU started a business? YOU wrote a book? YOU cooked meals for the homeless?"

I think you'll find you're capable of doing so much more than you or anyone else ever thought you could.

Good luck to you all!

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