Jan Marquart, Author

Write On!

The Contest by Ben Easton

Posted on | April 8, 2015 | Comments Off on The Contest by Ben Easton

beneaston I’d like to introduce a very special writer. My friend and colleague Bennett Easton. Bennett writes with flare and dimension. His new book, The Contest, is extraordinary. With the summer approaching, this is a great book to take to the lake, beach, or park. Please check it out. http://www.amazon.com/Contest-Bennett-Easton/dp/1507653344/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1428517602&sr=1-1&keywords=bennett+easton+the+contest

Bennett Easton is a former math teacher and software trainer who now works as a freelance writer in Austin, Texas. He pushes the envelope on political and social issues in the hopes of inspiring his readers and serving mankind. And an inspiration he is. You must read how The Contest came to fruition.
Ben’s story about how his new book, The Contest, came to be a reality:
I came up with the idea for The Contest while writing in my “morning pages,” part of The Artist’s Way regimen. I was already in mid-manuscript on another book, but when the novel turned into a memoir, and then back into a novel, I knew I needed clarity. If I were losing focus, my readers would no doubt follow suit!
I asked myself, “What would give people a reason to pay attention to a story about ideals – perhaps a cultural dialogue – for an extended period of time?” One answer came immediately: “Money … lots of money.” Okay … so I followed this thought up with another question: “What if a billionaire were to sponsor a global contest that focused attention on solutions to our biggest problems … sort of a showdown between Idealism and Pragmatism?”
For whatever reason, I moved on. This little nugget remained a one-paragraph entry in my journal … for almost four months. I would think about it occasionally, but I continued trying to breathe new life into the novel-memoir-novel-thing.
Eventually demoralized, I reached out to a trusted friend who knows a great deal more about writing than I do. He instructed me to take a legal pad and list every single asset in my author mind … everything from seed idea to outlined projects to largely completed. Within minutes, I wrote down a dozen ideas, and I handed him the list. He went through every item, asking me to expand on any that still inspired me. While the work-in-progress received only a mild 5 on his “enthusiasm” scale, he informed me that the global contest idea registered a 9. I was amazed.
A long discussion ensued, mostly centered around the guilt and fear that I imagined I would feel if I were to suddenly stop work on my manuscript in order to start again from scratch. After all, I had already invested one year on the damn thing! My friend convinced me, however, that I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. “Stay true – follow your passion.”
The next day, I sifted through several months of journal entries and found the seed. I planted it, and The Contest is the result.
Thank you Ben. I know my followers are going to love your book as much as I do. But what I am most impressed with is how you turned a simple writing practice exercise into a fabulous book. We all need to take this attitude into our writing and ‘make it happen.’
Keep the pen moving,
Until next time,


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