“I hate writing”: interviewing Kevin Maurer

“I hate writing”: interviewing Kevin Maurer

Kevin Maurer jokes that he has a new title these days: Partner in Treason. What might be a cute play on words for some—especially for a writer who has co-authored three books—is for Kevin a sly, knowing twist on the controversy surrounding his latest effort, “No Easy Day.” It’s a book he wrote with a former Navy SEAL (pseudonym MarK Owen) who was on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The Department of Defense didn’t clear the manuscript and threatened to shut down publication of the book, citing fears that it contained secrets concerning national security. Thus, Kevin Maurer is a Partner in Treason. But only jokingly. He can’t say much about that book right now, except that it’s a story about “the guys” involved with the raid, not a tell-all that reveals secrets. READ WHAT KEVIN SAYS ABOUT “NO EASY DAY” AT THE HUFFINGTON POST When we booked Kevin for Crossroads, it was because he came recommended by Nathan Edmondson, the Macon-based comic book writer of “The Activity,” a series Kevin liked so much he reached out to Nathan to express his appreciation of the little details most other writers wouldn’t know to use. Kevin spotted them because he’s been embedded six times with troops in Afghanistan. In fact, his other books—“Lions of Kandahar” with Major Rusty Bradley, “No Way Out” with Mitch Weiss, a Pulitzer Prize winner who is also coming to Crossroads, and  his own “Gentlemen Bastards”—are connected to Kevin’s on-the-ground experiences with America’s special forces. What may be more impressive that that is Kevin got his start writing freelance CD and concert reviews for...
Marathons are hard. Writing is harder.

Marathons are hard. Writing is harder.

A couple weeks ago, I started running again because I’ve signed up for a 10K and two half-marathons. Yesterday, as I finished up my route, this occurred to me: writing is harder than running. I’ve run a marathon–26.2 miles–without stopping. I’ve run dozens of 5Ks, and a few 10ks and half-marathons. I’ve logged hundreds of miles in races and in training for them. And I’ve done this despite being, for a runner, fat and slow, and coming to running after a decade of smoking two packs a day. By contrast, though I’ve had hundreds of thousands of words published as a journalist, I have written zero books. I want to write books. Something about writing is just harder for me than running. I think I know what it is. Though I typically blame my busy schedule for not writing more, time isn’t the problem. (Time management maybe.) Running takes about an hour–sometimes two–out of my day. Good writers, I hear, dedicate at least an hour a day to writing. My problem (and maybe yours) is that I need to lower my standards. Running is easier than writing, for me, because my standard for writing is much higher than my standard for running. In a race, I just want to finish …and to beat at least one of the people dressed like Batman. But when I write, I want each page to be masterful, eloquent, world-changing. I need to lower my standards. In our forthcoming interview with writer Kevin Maurer, he said, “You have to be willing to write badly.” (He has a lot of great insight on developing the discipline...