Find a Hole and Fill it
I first had the idea to write this book 15 years ago, but every time I sat down to write I froze. I knew what I wanted to say. I knew what the book was about. For years Party with a Plan® was a keynote presentation that I did on college campuses around the country. So why was I having so much trouble putting it on paper?
Then a good friend of mine, as I was talking about my frustration with not getting my work done, said, “Have you ever been checked out for ADD?” “What? ADD? Me?”
I looked up ADD on the web and I fit all the criteria. I showed a lot of the signs. So I made an appointment to see an ADD specialist for an assessment and lo and behold, on the continuum of mild to severe ADD, I was off the scale on the severe side. I started taking medication and three weeks later, I sat down to write and the first book poured out of me. Then the second, and the third.
The challenging part of writing non-fiction is that all of your information has to be accurate and factual. I had been quoting statistics for years, but now I had to know exactly where they could be found if I had to back them up.
Another aspect which is important for me is to be passionate about the topic. And on the topic of alcohol and other drug use, I am very passionate. I’ve watched too many people die or hurt themselves because of the misuse of alcohol or other drugs, including myself. I am an addict and alcoholic in long-term recovery (since 1984).
Somewhere during the middle stages of my recovery I remember making a comment that “no one ever taught me how to drink.” And I realized that nowhere in our society are we taught how to drink in a way that will keep us out of harm’s way. So I went on a quest. A quest to learn the formula that would help people learn how to drink. And more than “responsibly” or “moderately” which have no validity because they can be defined in so many different ways. I looked at the research and found tipping points between low-risk drinking and high-risk drinking. I found a way for people to identify if they might have a problem with alcohol and a way to reinforce for those who are making low-risk choices that they are doing something positive for themselves.
I know this is my life’s work. I know that everything I went through was for the purpose of writing this book and filling this hole that so many have fallen into.
For those of you writing non-fiction, all I can tell you as a new author is: check your facts, let the words come from your heart, and make sure you have fun along the way.
Randy Haveson knows addiction. As an alcoholic in long-term recovery (May, 1984), he has dedicated his life to helping others make more empowered choices in their lives. He is a 25 year veteran in the substance abuse field with extensive experience as a counselor, Director of Health & Alcohol Education at highly accredited universities, and speaker on over 100 campuses, speaking about harm reduction, self-esteem, leadership, and supporting students in recovery.