Many people I have met have mentioned a screenplay, novel or book they would like to write during a casual conversation. Each time I have heard it, I do not hold them to it – because I do not judge their comments to be an admission of a true-life long goal. I do believe that most people feel they have something significant to share. However, every time I have said, ‘I want to write a book’ – I was pronouncing a formal goal with a sense of priority.
Essentially when you write a book you are formalizing your desire to share something significant that you believe has value to a segment of the world. I call it a formal document because once it is out there and published there is no taking it back. Once you have written, edited and then had a book published you are stuck with the words that you wrote. You are essentially going on record saying , ’ Yes, I wrote this, I read what I wrote and I stand behind the words.’
There are two sayings that framed my mind when I decided to write a book from start to finish (and honestly I am not sure who said the first saying). You need to write the book that needs to be written. I took this statement very personal. So I made it a completely Katalin-centric statement – and the book I needed to write was easy to identify. I needed to write a book about training and martial arts. Simple. Step 1 – DONE! When I was not sure what to write next, I re-applied this statement as such, ‘You need to write the chapter that needs to be written.’ Just by asking myself that question over and over I was able to frame the large sections of my book, especially when I thought I had no more words left. But answering the question to help guide the chapters was not enough. I had to actually answer the question and then think about how my words would ultimately become permanent.
The second set of words that governed my time at the keyboard came from none other than Ernest Hemingway, “ There is nothing to writing, all you do is sit down at the typewriter and bleed.” As a Cuban-American, I am a Hemingway fan. No big surprise if you know any Cubans. My mother wasn’t the only one that bragged about Hemingway- when you are in a taxi driving through Havana, the conversation centers around, ‘Papa’ Hemingway wrote such and such 2 miles from here, ‘Papa’ used to eat at that restaurant … and so on. But, Yes! Hemingway has a lot to offer a writer. Bleed may be a dramatic way to sum up writing, but it is the perfect word to explain writing the hardest parts of a book. But now that my book is done, finito, fini, terminado, I realize that there is more than one place that I bled from. My guess is that writers all bleed from different places, at different moments, about different types of struggles. I bled a lot from my brain – aneurysms from information overload. When I was hot I could not slow down – I could not form sentences, let alone type as fast as my brain was working. It gave me enormous headaches and my eyes simply could not focus. My blurred vision was not helped by coffee; only hitting the pads brought clarity back. Then there were the times I bled from my heart, because nothing was coming out and I could have been with my family. I cannot say for sure, but I think all writers must spend hours writing nothing. You simply wait for something. After about a month, my waiting time turned into reading time. I rarely read about my subject matter. And, to continue being transparent, I read Twilight, a ton of poetry and Patricia Cornwell. The other profound place writers bleed from is their soul. I was 100% dedicated to completing this book, which required me pulling from my soul; however, I do not believe I bled like some that write auto-biographies or stories that are inspired from painful life events.
I feel different about this accomplishment than the magazine articles and 15+ DVDs. I am happiest that it is an actual book, not just an ebook. Without diminishing those that have published ebooks (because I am about to complete a new ebook myself which is exciting!), the paper makes me straight up HAPPY! I want to touch it! I want to hand the actual paper to my dad. I want my kids to pull a book out of their mementos box when they are an adult that has a cover and 192 pages of paper.
The book I wrote is called - Weight Training for Martial Arts, The Ultimate Guide. It is a comprehensive breakdown of strength and conditioning. I explain the differences between strength and power. The various forms of flexibility training. I answer questions like : How do you deign a training program? What types of programs are there? Should you use timed intervals or counted reps? What is high intensity interval training? How do things change if you are over 40? How do you train for more than one goal? Although it references martial artists - honestly the bulk of the content applies to everyone. The best is the catalogue of exercises, programs and the info-charts that summaries the science stuff.