APKY/AMP: Hello Lorne, and welcome to AuthorMeProfessionals. Please tell us something about yourself and how you came to be a writer. What inspired you to write your first book?
Many years ago, my first creative impulse was to be a writer. It was all I thought about - all I wanted. Then, as time unfolded, other avenues of expression nabbed my heart – the performing arts (dance and theater) and the visual arts ( film making, painting). After twenty years of fierce dedication to those fields, I adopted a baby and snap! time for those endeavors vanished. In fact, as a single parent with neither spouse nor family living nearby, time for everything vanished.
Until one day, when, after longing and longing for a garden,, I planted a single flower. Literally, one flower. And my whole world changed as I realized that if I could do something in tiny increments of time, I could actually do things again. So day by day and flower by flower, I built that garden and it was the single most sustaining element of my world that summer. It's beauty held me while I held my son.
The lesson I learned from that unfolding was the inspiration for my book MAKE IT HAPPEN in Ten Minutes a Day/The Simple Revolutionary Method for Getting Things Done. The gift of becoming a parent had given me the gift-in-disguise of having no time, which in turn, gave me the gift of learning to do things in Ten Minutes a Day. Then, the final gift: I was returned to myself as a writer.
APKY/AMP: An interesting revelation. So can you tell us what you have had published to-date?
My first book just came out in August. As mentioned above it is, MAKE IT HAPPEN in Ten Minutes a Day/The Simple, Revolutionary Method for Getting Things Done, and is available on Amazon as a eBook and soon as a paperback, as well as through the website which has the same name as the book title.
APKY/AMP: I must say same name as the book is a great idea. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep going. The great comedian Andy Kaufman once said “The thing about comedy is that it's like driving through a tunnel. The main thing is to keep going.” I think this is true for any creative endeavor. Keep going!
APKY/AMP: Right. Now, why should we buy your book?
An abundance of people in contemporary culture, certainly in Western cultures, struggle with feeling too busy and having no time. The method I put forward in my book is literally an antidote to that reality. The book is written with people's time in mind: the Chapters are short, clear and every word counts. I didn't waste language so that I wouldn't waste people's already precious time. The book itself is an example of its method's success: I wrote it in ten minutes a day.
If people actually dive in and commit to doing something for ten minutes a day for even seven days, they will see that their actions will bear fruit quickly and will find a new sense of momentum within themselves. The effect can be thrilling and really fun. One woman wrote to me to say that she had cleaned up an office that had been in chaos for two years. It took her twenty four days working ten minutes a day. It would be easy to think – well, twenty for days is a long time. But the point is, the office had been in chaos for two years and she clearly wasn't able to get at it any other way! As a result, the office being cleaned has had a huge knock-on effect to the rest of her life. She is mobilized in a completely new way.
Her example is a simple one of being better organized in her home, and there are other stories - people learning languages, people making music and lately for myself, I am reading MOBY DICK in ten minutes a day! I've been too scared to approach that book for decades and how I've found my way.
APKY/AMP: Amazing, and do enjoy the book! Now to the latest headache to many writers: How much of the marketing do you do for your published works or indeed for yourself as a ‘brand’?
As a self-published author, I do all the marketing. With the internet, it is now possible to be extremely successful this way.
APKY/AMP: Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?
I usually work in my home office or in my kitchen.
APKY/AMP: Cosy places! J The next red alert: Do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
I do not have an agent. But I was always someone who self-produced my work in the arts, so I have a lot of experience going after things.
APKY/AMP: We should all be so lucky. What are you working on at the moment / next?
I am marketing my book. Not sure what's next. It's been thrilling to feel the success of the book so far.
APKY/AMP: Great. All the same, do you manage to write every day?
I write something every day, yes. Though not always book related. I keep a journal.
APKY/AMP: Who is your first reader, Lorne – who do you first show your work to?
In the case of my book, my first reader was a colleague whom I respected greatly. She was not a writer but a brilliant lifestyle coach and a parent. Her input was invaluable.
APKY/AMP: J Do you write on paper or do you prefer a computer?
I write on a computer. But ideas usually fly out of my head when I am doing something else, so I try to keep pieces of paper handy.
APKY/AMP: Seems to be most writers’ habit. What do you like to read?
I am an avid reader of non-fiction. Particularly biographies and auto-biographies. I am completely fascinated by people.
APKY/AMP: Quite right; people are a fascinating lot. Where can we find out about you and your work?
There is a website for the book here: www.makeithappenintenminutesaday.com as well as links to a blog on tumblr that will begin soon. I am thrilled about the blog – my first entry will be an interview with a woman who works at a school for troubled teenage boys. She is training the men who work with the boys to meditate – ten minutes a day.
APKY/AMP: Thank you, Lorne. I invite you to include an extract of your writing:
Here is the introduction to my book.
Flower by Flower
You're busy, right?
If you picked up this book, then your answer is yes and we have something in common - not enough time. And perhaps the sense that large things can’t be created or conquered because we don’t have the big time they require.
I offer a simple solution: make intentional ten minute efforts every day.
This idea was borne out of necessity in my life. During a recent summer, I was still in the labor- intensive phase of raising my young son. I longed to put in a flower garden, but as a single parent with neither partner nor family nearby, time for such endeavors did not exist.
Still, I wanted that garden.
So one day, I bought a six-pack of impatiens and upon returning home, I got out of the car, dug one hole and planted a single flower. Then I went inside to attend to the many things that needed my attention. I left the other flowers in their container at the edge of the grass. And for the rest of the day, I could feel that one flower singing. All day long.
Something had happened: I was back in the flow of possibility. Step by step, flower by flower, and day by day, I created a garden that knocked me out with it’s beauty. I never spent more than ten minutes on it, because I never had more than ten minutes. Nonetheless, its magnificence was the single most sustaining element of my world that summer. Every day, its beauty soothed and inspired me. I would look down on it from the window above and feel proud, accomplished and ... sane.
Not only was the garden itself incredible, but every time I looked at it, I was reminded that I could make things happen, even with very small amounts of time. The flowers became my cheering squad, encouraging me to remember this new blueprint for action. I no longer felt at the mercy of my situation and the joy I experienced inspired me to apply the technique to other corners of my life.
It was a quiet, daily revolution.
I have deliberately kept this book short, to the point, and delivered in concise chapters that can easily be read in ten minutes or less, so the book will be a first taste of its own fundamental premise. The information begins with the Make it Happen concept and how to get going with it, and then continues with advice and specific suggestions.
The world is full of books and ideas about time management. However, as I have just learned, time cannot truly be managed. We can only ever manage ourselves.
MAKE IT HAPPEN is written to help you do just that: manage yourself - your energies, intentions, and activities. It is a recipe for endeavor, to help you create what you want in a way that is consistently possible and filled with joy.
And in case you are wondering, yes, I wrote this book in ten minutes a day.