If there was ever an author that DIDN’T need a leg up, it would be athlete, motivational speaker and amputee Don Elgin. His story of disabled boy turned elite athlete has been brought to the page through his memoir, One Foot on the Podium. And we recently asked him all about it.
Hi Don, congrats on the book. Can you give people a quick snapshot of it?
“One Foot On The Podium is the story of my life. It’s anything but politically correct. It’s real, it’s sometimes sad, and often funny. It describes the trials and tribulations of being one of five kids raised in the bush by parents who believed in tough love. The story covers both the medical and psychological issues of growing up with half a leg missing, including my absolute aversion to syringes. I share my passion for sport and celebrate the great opportunities it’s brought into my life.”
Wow, there’s definitely a story there! So it’s pretty clear where the idea for the book came from. But did the idea to write it evolve over time or was it a sudden lightbulb moment?
“My dad had been at me for years about sharing my story in a book. To be honest, the time had never really been right: I was too busy living my life to sit down and write about it. After multiple requests for a book from the people who attend the many speaking engagements I do, I decided to push through the roadblocks and get serious.”
So when you’re writing, what's your typical day like – do you have a writing routine?
“I find there’s a ‘writer’s groove’, and when you get into it, ideas come thick and fast. The writing just tends to flow, and I think it’s important to capitalise on these times. Often they arise first thing in the morning or late at night – the times when there are few distractions. Having a good editor can really make the difference. I don’t recall ever producing anything awesome without the help of the good people in my team.”
So what's next for you? What are you working on?
“One Foot On The Podium was such an exciting project that I’m now working on the sequel, which will be available in late 2016. I also blog, and share my ideas on my website www.donelgin.com.au. As well, I have some education resources coming together in the positive education space.”
Great to hear! So what's your advice for aspiring writers?
“Learn to love what you do, and avoid procrastinating. The journey is just as important as the destination. Be sure to refocus from time to time, and enjoy the process as well as the outcome.”