About this project
About "Composing Temple Sunrise"
Composing Temple Sunrise: Overcoming Writer’s Block at Burning Man is an inspirational coming-of-age memoir about a 26 year old songwriter looking to refuel his creative energy. Triggered by the Great Recession of 2008, Hassan El-Tayyab loses his special education teaching job in Boston and sets out on a cross-country adventure with a woman named Hope Rideout, determined to find his lost muse. His journey brings him to Berkeley, CA, where he befriends a female metal art collective constructing a 37-foot Burning Man art sculpture named Fishbug. What follows is a life-changing odyssey through Burning Man that helps him harness his creative spirit, overcome his self-critic, confront childhood trauma, and realize the healing power of musical expression.
Why I wrote this book
The book started as a blog about my cross-country road trip and evolved into a nearly 200-page memoir. It helped me work through depression and all the triggers I’d been stumbling over for a long time. It also helped me understand the complex emotions I have from growing up without my father, racism endured due to my Arab heritage, and much more. I have shared quite a lot about myself in this book that I kept bottled up inside for a long time. Writing it all down has been extremely liberating. So much can happen in our lives that it’s easy to get caught up and not take the time to examine life events closely. Through my memoir, I was able to take a step back and piece together the narrative of my life. In addition, I want to use my story to start a dialogue about the writing process, writer's block, and the power big communal art projects have to transform and empower those involved.
About my publisher Poetic Matrix Press
The first thing everyone asks an author in 2015 is: are you going to self-publish? I’ve decided to go with an established publisher called Poetic Matrix Press for a number of reasons. First off, they believe in the book and care enough about the story to put it among the other amazing works they have published over the past 30 years. They told me that this book fits well into their catalogue due to my memoir's examination of the creative process. In taking this next step as a writer, I wanted to have guidance from people who were very familiar with the publishing process. Having a publisher really helps with getting visibility and opens up distribution channels that can be difficult for a first time author to have access to when self-publishing.
What’s the money for?
My baseline goal is $3,000. That money would be used for a final copy edit, the book design and layout, printing an initial batch of books, creating a website, funding a mini book tour, and pay for Kickstarter fees. Raising this amount would get the book in my hand and available for purchase online.
My mid level goal is $4,000. With the extra money I can do a good promotion push with an all-star publicist.
My ultimate goal would be $5,000 or more. With that, I could pay for all the book expenses and do a full West Coast book tour. The more money I raise the further I can travel with the book.
Taking this book to the next level will require start-up capital. As a full-time musician, coming up with the money to make all this happen in a short period of time is difficult and delays the book's release. I’ve been working on Composing Temple Sunrise for 5 years now and am ready to share it with the world. Any help would be… helpful!
Goals for the book
I had several goals for this book. The most important one has already been accomplished. I told my story honestly and learned a ton about myself and about writing in the process. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to be finished with the creative part of it. When I began writing, that was the only goal that mattered. During my writing process, I had a mantra I kept repeating when I was in doubt. “Start with the truth.” I feel I have done that to the best of my ability.
My post-writing and publishing goal has a similar purpose. I want to use my story to help others overcome creative and spiritual blocks of their own. Having lived through such a deep block I feel extremely empathetic to people who are stuck. I wish for my story to offer hope to anyone who is blocked and let the know that they are not alone.
This book did not happen in a vacuum. Like most authors, I got help. First and foremost, I want to thanks Jess, Rebecca, the Fishbug Crew, and the Flux Foundation. Without their love, support, creativity, openness, passion, and dedication this book could have never happened. Their energy has ignited a fire in me that’s been burning since I got to the Bay Area. In addition, I need to thank the many people who took time to help with the editing of the manuscript. I was not a writer of anything much beyond a 4 minute song at the beginning of this 5 year process. I learned how to write prose the hard way! Over the past 5 years I’ve been getting my literary butt whooped by some amazing editors and first readers. Big thanks to my all star editors Faith Adiele, David Colin Carr, Marisa Belger, and Kayli De Saussure. I can’t say enough about how important your guidance was for my development as a writer. In addition, I want to thank all my close friends, family, bandmates and the people that have been supporting my music career with American Nomad since I got to the Bay Area. Love you folks! Last but not least, I should thank in advance all you wonderful crowdfunders out there on the interwebs. To finish making this book pledges from cool people like you are essential. Much love to you all!
About the Temple at Burning Man
The Temple at Burning Man is a place where everyone at Burning Man goes to create shrines and write stories about things they need to let go of. At the end of the week-long event, tens of thousands of people sit around the sculpture in near silence and watch it burn to the ground. "Temple Sunrise" was the tune I composed in the story that broke me free of my writer’s block and paved the way for lots spiritual growth and new music that I create on a regular basis now.
Listen to "Temple Sunrise"
Risks and challenges
Once the project is funded the risks and challenges are getting the book design done and into the hands of readers. I'm working with a great team of people at Poetic Matrix Press so I'm confident we will be able to release a great book!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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