“Are you subscribed to Drew’s semi-annual blog?”
My friend quipped to his wife, mocking me about how infrequently I blog. It just takes me some time to ruminate on a few topics until I feel one becomes meaningful enough to write and publish.
Some of you may recall back in 2004 I was all excited about this ridiculous book I was going to write concerning the plight of twentysomethings coming of age in my generation, entitled The Twenties BeatDown®. Back then, I noticed something was off about how people in my generation were merging into their early adult years. Through my own experience and the observation my peers, I surmised that a cacophony of societal elements left us not entirely prepared for the realities of post-college life. After some prompting of a few key people, I was all gung ho about writing this book but never finished.
I’m pleased to announce the project has recently been resurrected.
Almost to the week that I began putting pen to paper in December 2004, I get a major development nine years later. The whole outline for the book just came to me within 35 minutes at the end of 2013.
Though I had an inch stack of writing back then, I could never see the finished product. Nor did I ever really have a good outline in spite of my numerous attempts at writing one. Nonetheless, there was a good three months of pretty intense writing including a couple dozen interviews of twentysomethings specifically for the book. I seemed to have quite a bit of support from a swath of people who were very inspired by what I was doing and thought I was onto something. I had reason to believe this. For instance, other bestselling authors in this field were encouraging me to write my manuscript. In fact, I had several stimulating discussions with development psychologist, Jean Twenge, PhD, who quoted me twice in her own book Generation Me along with my book title.
“Drew Lichtenberger…calls the pervasive malaise of his generation, ‘The Twenties BeatDown.’” (p. 119)
So, despite not having a clearly defined thesis, I figured it would come together in time and it would be a success.
Yet I completely dropped this project
After leaving my financial profession to write this book and pursue a new career in early 2005, one day it dawned on me,
“Who the @#&$% am I to say anything to my generation!? I’m just an unemployed twentysomething now. No one should listen to anything I have to say!”
Rather embarrassed, feeling I could not complete what I had begun, I was having second thoughts about all of my original hypotheses. If that wasn’t enough, after matriculating into graduate school, my academic department indirectly seemed rather dismissive of the whole idea which put the final nail in the coffin of this project.
So, the outline was quite the breakthrough.
Picking it back up
In 2011, there were some friends of all ages chiding me to return to this project and complete the manuscript; I was very reluctant to pick this back up, but knew they were right. After numerous attempts to write again, it was still not coming into focus.
In how my blog posts take a while to formulate, so it has been for this book. The last nine years contained what I was missing: formal academic study, the hundreds more twentysomethings I have interacted with, development of Prepare a Future, and of course more personal perspective. In December it all came into focus.
Through stories and research, this book will demonstrate what is happening with today’s twentysomethings and attempt to answer the timely question as to why this is happening. Much has changed in society and people are not developing like they did in the past, and there are some reasons for this. Through stories and concepts I will share my findings from my last nine years of research and study and provide some practical tools that have been able to help many people prepare for their future.
Within the calendar year I hope to have a completed manuscript.
I am still collecting stories and interviewing people to bring some concepts to light—click here to see the synopsis and types of stories I’m looking for.
Thank you to all of those who have been supportive of this effort—back then and more recently.