Somehow one paragraph turned into one chapter. One chapter turned into a book.
I learned at that early stage it was called a ‘manuscript’. Writing it was brutal. Raw. Diving to depths of pain that had been strenuously avoided for so many years. I cried writing parts of it.
I fucking wailed to be honest. Yet it was cathartic.
I read it over and over. “This might actually be quite good” I said to myself. Quickly followed by the ‘neggy heed’ whispering to me. “Don’t be so fucking stupid. You are not a writer. You have no idea how to write a book. No one wants to read your story. It is too farfetched. No one will believe you. You look like an attention seeking cunt”.
Wow. With a head like that what chance was there? Luckily one of my best friends from Uni, Darren, proofread it. He said he was blown away. He believed in me. As a friend he found it gut-wrenching to read but as a true friend he read it all. I made him promise me something. “Mate don’t let me end up like one of those idiots on the X-factor who cannae sing but turn up coz their mum and dad think they sound good. Don’t let me make a fool of myself”. Darren promised me.
It was time to pitch my book to publishers. But something was missing. I spoke to another friend of mine. Gemma.
She told me about a book called The Secret. About visualisation. The Laws of Attraction. Ultimate self-belief in achieving your dreams. I researched it and what I discovered was fascinating.
Connor McGregor visualised himself as UFC champion whilst he was an unknown fighter living on welfare. The rest is history. Jim Carrey wrote himself a pretend cheque for 10 million dollars and carried it in his wallet as a jobbing actor, until the day he was made an offer of 10 million to play Lloyd Christmas in Dumb & Dumber. The rest is history. Noel Edmunds called is ‘cosmic ordering’. Telling the universe what you want to achieve.
I remembered a scene from one of my favourite movies. Good Will Hunting. Robin Williams and Matt Damon on a park bench. I won’t spoil it.
But at the end of the scene, the character played by Robin Williams, powerfully and poignantly says “You’re terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.”
I was terrified too. Terrified of the words I wrote down. Terrified to show anyone. Terrified to dream big. But I spoke to Gemma about vision boards and I wrote my own. The key was to write it down as if it had already happened. You train your brain to believe in your destination. You just haven’t arrived yet.
It seemed so bold to write them down. I even wrote about Netflix turning my book into a feature. I hadn’t even sent it to a publisher yet. Then the ‘neggy heed’ came back. “You sound so fucking arrogant. Don’t be so fucking stupid”.
In the era I grew up working-class lads were expected to aim low. At my high school, at that time, to dream so big was arrogant. Our brains were trained all wrong. I learned to survive but never to thrive. Failure seemed so much easier to believe in.
I spoke to Gemma again. She reinforced it into me. “If YOU don’t believe in this Aidan, then it WON’T happen”. She was right. Darren told me again that the book was really fucking good. Then Gemma gave me some advice that would take things to the next level. THIS was the missing piece. “You need a front cover. You need to visualise this on a bookshelf”.
There was only one person I was going to ask. My childhood friend.
One of my best friends in the world. Mark Deans.