There was a moment during my interview with gifted Millennial writer Kern Carter that I actually hated him a little bit. It’s true. The moment passed quickly and I even confessed to him I felt that way.
But if you’re a writer or a blogger or an author or a journalist you might understand why I felt the way I did. He said, “It’s not hard for me to write. To be honest, writing is really easy for me.” He didn’t say it an arrogant or boastful way. He wasn’t being flippant. He was answering a very specific question that I asked him and being very charming. And once I got over my momentary hatred I was incredibly impressed. I was impressed because I realized Kern Carter is a man who identified a talent, works hard to hone that craft and is reaping the benefits.
For the past four years Kern Carter has been working as a freelance writer. In addition to a variety of contract work he also writes regularly on his blog and on LinkedIn. But in April of this year he published his first book Thoughts of a Fractured Soul. It’s a project he has been working on for five years and its publication is a huge accomplishment. But it’s one he’s taking in stride. “I am proud of it. But I’m not satisfied yet, because I feel like it’s just the beginning,” he explained. “My goal is not to just have a book. My goal in life is to be a successful writer. My goal is to be considered among the best.”
It seems that is a goal he is willing to work hard to achieve. He said, “If you want to be great you have to work to be great.” He admits that passion and desire to achieve a goal are important but he credits his success to this point with hard work. He admits, “I’ve made an effort to study the art of writing.” Beyond his academic career he’s put in personal time reading and researching. He is disciplined and writes daily. He appreciates and respects the art of writing and is willing to put in the effort to accomplish something great.
Part of what makes Kern Carter’s writing so great is his voice. Much of his writing is intensely personal. He includes personal anecdotes and experiences, and uses his own story to address broader issues. This has been a conscious decision on his part. He explains, “Emotions are the one thing all humans share. If I can take an event in my own life and relate it emotionally to a broader subject, that is the best way that I can touch a wider range of people.”
Carter also admits to using his writing as a tool to work through issues in his life. He confessed, “In my actual life I don’t talk to people about anything. It’s one of my flaws. My blog is an opportunity for me to express myself as clearly as possible.” He admits that when communicating about emotional topics verbally he feels things get lost, but when he’s able to write he can communicate exactly what he wants to express.
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- If You Want to be Great, You Have to Work to be Great
- It’s Important to Mentally Prepare for Moments of Success
- Be Proud of your Work but Not Satisfied with Your Accomplishments
It should be clear, however, despite his penchant for self-revelatory writing, Thoughts of a Fractured Soul is not a memoir. He wasn’t quite ready to go there yet. Carter admits that he and his protagonist Corey share things in common. But for his family and friend’s sakes all of the interactions and most of the events in the novel are fictitious. He offered, “The fiction I write is probably always going to be loosely related to my life. My stories will always be about something that can be touched on emotionally by readers.”
When asked what it has been like to have his book in the hands of those readers after all this time, Carter seemed cool, calm and collected. He admitted that he has been preparing for this moment for a long time. It is something he has been looking forward to. He recounted his first book signing as exciting but comfortable. “I’m really comfortable in moments where I get to talk about my book and my ambitions as a writer,” he explained. These are the moments that all his hard work leads to and so he relishes them. But all the while, he continues to work hard, and look toward the future admitting, “I want my name to be considered among the best who have ever put words on paper and that part hasn’t even started yet.”