7 Questions With an Author: Shane Michael Taylor

By Tor Constantino

This post marks another installment of my “7 Questions With an Author…” series, where I ask published authors an unchanging set of questions and share their responses here.

Today’s featured author is Shane Michael Taylor. He’s a friend of mine,  a motivational speaker and the author of Living This Rodeo: A Journey From Fantasy to Reality, an audio book that details the journey that led to his career as a country music artist.

His debut album, to be released in 2012, is titled I Will Stand. Shane  has been overcoming life’s greatest challenges compounded by Cerebral Palsy and is living out his life purpose of using his creativeness and enthusiasm to inspire and entertain people through music, books, and lectures to live life to their fullest potential.

1. Tell us about your book?
My book, Living This Rodeo, proves how people can achieve their goals and dreams by overcoming the challenges that they perceive to be in the way of attaining them. I discuss my journey that led up to the fulfillment of my goals and illustrate the challenges I’ve had to overcome along the way. I also discuss the lessons that I have learned by overcoming various roadblocks on my path to success so that others can benefit.
2. What led you to write it?
I feel that I’m meant to be a music artist; it’s in my soul. I also have a physical disability called Cerebral Palsy which has brought about a myriad of challenges, both physical and emotional, that often conflict with my dream. I never let go of that dream and knew that, somehow, I would be involved in music. One thing led to another and, long story short, an album of my songs was in the works, and I felt compelled to share my story and hopefully inspire others to overcome their own challenges and do what they are meant to do.
3. Who is a writer that inspires you and why?

I would have to say it’s Jack Canfield. His life story is very inspirational and relatable to me. He’s my main inspiration for being an author. I attended one of his workshops in Boston and that lit the fuse- the day after that I found myself writing an outline for my book. As I explain in Living This Rodeo, he changed my life.

4. What was the biggest challenge you faced writing this book?
I typed it myself and, considering I use my nose to type, it took a little bit longer than I expected. Another huge challenge was deciding to talk about some very personal experiences that I have never before shared with others. I decided to include many of them because I figured that if they improve the life of somebody else then it’s worth sharing those experiences instead of hiding them.

5. What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Don’t be afraid to write from the heart. I think that there’s somebody who will always criticize us but for every critic there are countless readers who will instantly connect and relate to you. I believe that is the primary goal of any artist or writer.

6. Where do you get your ideas?
I get most of my ideas from real life experience, although a few of them come from fantasized life experiences. As a songwriter, it is my job to take the listener out of reality and facilitate a particular emotional response. That entails writing something with universal appeal, so sometimes, rather than writing about my own experiences, I have fun with the songs to give the listener the best experience possible.

7. Anything that you’d like readers to know that I haven’t asked?

The one piece of advice I would give anyone is to be true to yourself by following your heart and listening to their intuition. If you truly believe in yourself, you will be able to overcome any roadblock on your journey of life.

Shane is an inspiration to everyone he meets and if you’d like to find out more about his story or having him speak at your business or church, check out his web site.

Thanks to Tor Constantino and The Daily Retort

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