It takes a clear passion; a lot of determination and blind faith
A feature article in Thrive Global, 25th February 2017.
Scott Rheuben is a brother, a son, a father, a husband and an author. He has travelled and worked overseas ‘backpacking with a suitcase’ and travelling around Australia in a van with his wife. He is most passionate about inspiring others, particularly with his words, a sample of which includes:
‘Your potential is exponential, but inconsequential if you just sit still’
‘A heart that beats with hope, is a heart that has not been beaten’
‘We’re all looking for substance, yet we treat it with abuse, we’re all looking for an answer, but simply finding an excuse’
‘I must find what’s missing from deep inside, for what’s a lion without his pride?’
He has written almost every day for twenty five years, mostly poetic verse, but now he has also produced a children’s book ‘Roses are Not Red’, once again to inspire and help open children’s creative minds through important morals. Ironically, his first children’s book DOES NOT Rhyme!
1. Humble Beginnings
Q: How did you get started and what or who inspired and empowered you to?
It’s a tough question; I don’t know how it all started. I just really loved to rhyme. I would write so many verses and put them into song format with a chorus, but I never learnt to sing. I didn’t want the stage; I just wanted to create words that were meaningful. I have been inspired by bands such as Something for Kate, Alice in Chains, Xavier Rudd, Rage Against the Machine, Stone Temple Pilots, more so than authors, however once again my tastes in authors is usually from my younger years i.e. Roald Dahl, Paul Jennings, Mem Fox, Dr Seuss. Now, with my keen interest in writing children’s books, I am on a journey to make a career of it and be able to become a full-time author.
Q: What unique and creative strategies if any did you use when you were first getting started?
I did a lot of research of various publishing companies both in Australia and worldwide. I looked at who would take unsolicited materials, how to submit manuscripts, and read reviews as to how hard it was to break into the market and actually earn an income. I learnt some of my best lessons, as we all do… the hard way. My publishing company in the UK went into liquidation, and I received nothing from the creation of my first book ‘Songs Without Sound’, after putting significant funds into it. Compromising too much in the size of the book and the cost were also major lessons that I learnt. The subsequent book of poetic verse, ‘Songs Without Sound II: Behind the Silence’ was self-published and was made how I wanted, which was satisfying. It is only now though after trying my hand at children’s books, have I realised that I have dipped my toes into a market that I can flourish in and help inspire a younger audience to achieve greatness and help promote independent thought.
Q: What mindset distinguished you from others who were doing the same thing? How did you develop it?
I am a very driven and self-motivated person who really hopes and strives to contribute to a better world. I did not let my doubts or the voices of others, stop me, even when there was no path or opportunity that presented itself. I persisted, for the pure passion I had for writing and the divine connection I felt while I was doing it. In many ways writing was my meditation. This personal growth and search for meaning included reading about different religions, and many new age books. My various travels have also opened my mind and been both inspiring and insightful which has also contributed greatly to my writing. Most recently the book ‘The Road Less Travelled’ and my current practical philosophy course have both been significant in creating my mindset through self-discovery and have given me an underlying focus in my writing, and my direction in general.
I am not sure what others were doing, while I was trying to figure out my purpose. I guess I was so fixated on my own thing that I was not taking notice, however once again lyricists such as Paul Dempsey, Layne Staley, Scott Weiland, Zach De La Rocha and Mantra were definitely inspiring to me and helping define my personal direction. I was not a reader of ‘poetry’ to be honest, I didn’t understand a lot of it, and so I simply walked my own path of ‘poetic verse’ and eventually stumbled into the children’s book genre.
3. What is your definition of success?
Defining success is a bit like trying to define God; it will always be subjective. For me success means following your heart and giving your complete self to what you are most passionate about, although Ralph Waldo Emerson also gives quite an impressive definition.
Q: What do you think is the main reason why some people face failure when going after their vision?
Some people give up too easily, or, as is more often the case, they are not sure what they are most passionate about, so they never follow things through and give it their all. It takes a clear passion; a lot of determination and blind faith to continue to keep the spark alight, in the pitch of black.
5. What is the best piece of advice you have received or came across and would like to share with everyone?
One is not to be scared of failure and another is William Wallace’s quote: ‘Every man dies. Not every man really lives.’