I imagine most books aren’t written the way Yourdrum was.
I say this because I never intended on writing a book, never planned on being an author (accidental author), and frankly never thought I was good at writing. My English and grammar teachers would surely attest to this.
Also, the way in which Yourdrum was written was a bit, I’d say, unconventional.
Prior to Yourdrum (some background info)
My “real” job is treating sleep apnea. Actually, I’m a dentist, but I started a clinic exclusively dedicated to treating sleep apnea with oral devices. It’s a strange clinic and very likely I am the only person ever to open up one like this right out of school.
Due to some limitations of oral devices in treating sleep apnea, I began developing a nasal device (NED) to better treat patients’ apnea. While in my first year out of school treating patients and developing NED, I was struck by the prevalence of depressed patients I saw. Over 70% of the patients I saw were on antidepressants. From research I’d done I knew there was a correlation between apnea and depression, but I wondered if apnea was causal or merely correlated. I dug deeper.
It turns out that 1 in 4 American adults take antidepressants. This fact depressed me.
I continued to read books and do research into why Americans were so unhappy. Why were suicides, especially of the youth, so common? Why were peoples’ lives so painful that they had to be numbed with medications.
Meditation and Inspiration
In 2015 I had a goal of meditating every day. Whether it be 30 seconds or 30 minutes, it didn’t matter, but it had to happen every day.
While in one of my morning meditations on the balcony out over the lake it hit me. It was so obvious. But too simple.
People are unhappy because they are not living the life they want to. Duh? Right.
But why aren’t people living the life they want to…that was the question.
And the answer hit me as a “play-on-words” – YOURDRUM.
Yourdrum vs Eardrum.
This is what the inspiration from the meditation revealed:
Most people live a life that is outer directed. Circumstances determine their life rather than they themselves determining the circumstances they want. Most people live a life of reaction and victimhood encompassed by fear that drives their life. They use reason, logic, and self-justifications as excuses to cover up the fear preventing them from living the life they desire. They let their eardrum determine their direction.
Yourdrum is the opposite of eardrum. Yourdrum is an inner directed life. A person who listens to yourdrum, listens from within, not from without. They take responsibility for creating the life they want. They know what their heart desires and believe they can attain it. They disregard self-imposed limitations and seem impractical even crazy to the one’s listening with their eardrums.
When you listen with yourdrum you follow your dreams, you create the life you want, you experience fulfillment, passion, and purpose. You open yourself to inspiration, ecstasy and joy. You live to create and create to give.
Inspiration strikes again
After inspiration struck that morning in meditation I immediately registered the domain www.yourdrum.org and put up a website (even though I wasn’t even sure what the purpose was yet).
Yourdrum sat on the server for awhile just hanging out. Months later, inspiration struck again.
It was a Saturday evening and I was climbing a treadmill at the gym. While beads of sweat poured out of my head, Yourdrum, the book, poured in – the plot and ideas just kind of showed up. I hadn’t thought of Yourdrum or the website I threw up in weeks. But here it came out of nowhere. It was persistent too, it wouldn’t let me just drop it and turn on a movie for a relaxing Saturday night, but it demanded and occupied my attention all that evening.
The Next Day – Writing Yourdrum
When I woke up the next day, Sunday, a bit before 6:00 a.m., my morning routine was completely abandoned and I started writing. I hadn’t planned to wake up and write. But Yourdrum was still with me and I figured that was the only way to get her out of my head. I didn’t diagram, outline, or plot out anything. I literally started from the beginning and wrote to the end without a plan, without chapters, and in many cases without punctuation and grammar all together.
All day I wrote. Until 6:00 p.m.
At 6:00 p.m. on Sunday’s I have dinner with my parents and whatever family is in town. So when it was 6:00 p.m. I stopped typing and left for my parents’ house. When I arrived I got a horrible headache and was just exhausted. It wasn’t until after dinner when I was sitting on the couch did it strike me: “this is the exact feeling I was describing in the book when you stray from yourdrum.” (NOTE: if you haven’t read the book this probably doesn’t make any sense – so go read it :))
But I knew what the cure to the headache would be – go home and finish the book. So from 8:00 p.m. to about 11:00 p.m. I finished the book.
That Sunday I became an accidental author. Yourdrum was written from beginning to end from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. with a 2 hour dinner break at my parents.
From a Microsoft Word Document to Published Manuscript
After the marathon writing day, I didn’t pick up the manuscript again for awhile. Because the book was written without an outline, without chapters, without spell check, I thought if I ever wanted to turn it into an actual book, editing was going to be a nightmare. But it turned out that I didn’t need or even want chapters. The book naturally divided into 3 sections with lots of “mini-sections” mixed in. Whoever said you have to have chapters? I had two wonderful proofreaders (thank you Karen and Lis!) who helped turn my dyslexia into legibility.
During this “editing time” inspiration struck a couple more times.
One of these instances pushed me to add “pass along” pages in the front and back of the book. I always felt that books found me as much as I found them. And books that just collect dust on shelves aren’t doing anyone any good. So the pass along pages, “Travels of Yourdrum,” were added so there would be a story of the book as well as a story in the book.
Manuscript is complete – Now what?
At this point it was great to have a manuscript finished but I knew nothing of publishing a book. I sent one inquiry letter to a publishing company and I was like “Kevin, what are you doing? Trying to get picked by a publisher? This is a book about picking yourself – so do that!”
So I incorporated a publishing company, Scriptis LLC. Now I had a publisher 🙂
On January 1st 2016, Yourdrum was published, and is now available pretty much anywhere you buy books online. You can also get the book free on the website – more on that if you register for the “free chapters” – which is really Part I of the book.
(NOTE: you can get Part’s II and III for free too by doing just a couple things which I describe once you register)
Inspiration has struck several times since writing the book to bring yourdrum to life in a couple other mediums – stay tuned 🙂