If anyone ever asked me how I got started writing, I’d tell them, “Well, I had this idea for a story, and I decided to write it.” That first part is easy. The second part, not so much. Lots of people have great ideas, but they don’t decide to…you know, like Nike says – Just Do It.
…has great ideas. For example:
“I am going to start almost literally from scratch – with one 8′ x 10′ tarp, a sleeping bag, an empty gym bag, $25, and the clothes on my back. Via train, I will be dropped at a random place somewhere in the southeastern United States that is not in my home state of North Carolina. I have 365 days to become free of the realities of homelessness and become a ‘regular’ member of society.”
Not only is this an interesting idea, Adam actually decided to do it. He followed through, achieved his goal, and learned much along the way, which he documented in a book called Scratch Beginnings. The book was a huge success, gaining him critical acclaim.
In 2009 Alan had another great idea. To save up for two years, then travel around the world for an entire year.
Once again, he didn’t just have a great idea, he decided to follow through. Alan visited 17 countries on 4 continents between 2011 and 2012. He documented his experience in a book called One Year Lived.
One Year Lived…
…is a stream-of-consciousness, nearly-fictional, but very Real account of Adam Shepard’s year spent traveling the planet. Watching sunsets. Getting robbed. Fighting bulls. Bungee-jumping off a bridge. Meeting people, but most importantly, Living.
He details his travels with clear and witty prose. The tone is casual and friendly, as if he were telling you the story while you were sitting next to him on a beach sipping a Mojito. Needless to say, One Year Lived is a quick and easy read.
Lots of people have the great idea to go travelling. You know…. study abroad, hitch-hike across Europe, stay at youth hostels… the combination of adventure and hazing ritual that is endlessly romanticized (mostly by parents of college-age kids who wish they’d actually done it themselves.)
Lots of people talk of this great idea to travel and “find themselves.” But Adam actually decided to do it. He says his goal wasn’t to find himself, and he wasn’t unhappy with his life. Alan believes in travel as a means of enrichment and personal growth:
“People need to travel more, not only because it is satisfying and fun and inspires purpose and provides service to a world that needs it and sparks creativity, but because we need to open up our eyes to what is really going on out there…
There’s only so much you can learn in the classroom. Sometimes you have to get out there to experience it, to touch it, to feel it, to see it for yourself…”
Writers need experience to draw from, and there’s no replacement for first-hand experiences like these:
Riding an elephant in Thailand
Experiencing a sunrise from a mountaintop in Guatemala
Alan does all of this and much more, and you can read all about it in One Year Lived. Alan’s hope is that after reading One Year Lived, you’ll be motivated to get out there and expand your culture, enrich your sense of diversity, find yourself.
In fact, Alan wants this enough that he’s willing to give his book to you for free:
Get A Free E-Book Of One Year Lived!
Adam Shepard has graciously offered to give away free copies of the e-book version of One Year Lived to fans of conradzero.com. Here’s how it works:
Email me that you did – zero at conradzero dot com
That’s it. You share a link to this post, let me know, and I’ll reply email you instructions on how to download One Year Lived in one of several different e-book formats. Cut/paste the link or look for the buttons at the top and bottom of this post to help you share to most popular social media sites.
Obviously, Alan can’t give copies of his book away forever, or he’ll never sell any! So at the risk of sounding like an infomercial, I’ll warn you that this is a limited time offer. Get your shares in by Noon on Sunday, April 21st. After that, we have to pull the plug.
Get A Free Signed Paperback Of One Year Lived!
Everyone who helps share this blog post is also entered in a drawing for the physical book, signed by Adam Shepard himself. I’ll pick a winner at random and notify by email. The paperbook version of One Year Lived will be released on Monday, April 22nd.
I hope you enjoy One Year Lived. I know it will inspire you with grand ideas. But remember, that’s the easy part.