Scott Tsui has been active in the online community for going on ten years now, in various incarnations, providing a forum, networking platform, and informational resources for gay men in San Francisco, the United States and around the world.
His knowledge and experience in the last ten years, coupled with his genuine desire to make a positive change in the lives of his fellow gay brothers, has culminated in his latest accomplishment, his book, Lonely No More, a practical guide for single gay men who want to find the right man for a stable and lasting relationship.
We are fortunate that he has agreed to give us some insights into his new book.
Thanks for joining us, Scott. I know you have a busy schedule with promoting your new book, Lonely No More, so I’ll get right to it. What was the seed that was planted in your mind that eventually turned into Lonely No More?
Thank you for having me. Regarding the seed for this book, I can trace it all the way back to my early childhood when I was five years old. I can still recall one particular incident that impacted my life. It was a late afternoon and the weather was gloomy. I was watching my older brothers playing soccer with the boys from the neighborhood. They were yelling, shouting and really into the game. It didn’t take long for me to lose interest and step away. When I discovered several girls around my age were playing kitchen, I approached them and asked if I could join in. They gave me a “why are you even here?” glare and told me that I should be playing soccer with the boys. I felt perplexed not belonging to either group. So, I walked away and I was on my own. It was the first time in my life I felt lonely.
Since then, I carried this lonely feeling and often stared into the sky wondering if someone else felt the same way, besides me. I carried this loneliness into my young adulthood and I longed to find “that someone” who would understand me, someone with whom I could share my deepest feelings. That is why I am very familiar with this lonely feeling that single gay men often experience. And this is why I wrote Lonely No More so that they could find the men they’ve been searching for.
What were some of the obstacles that you found that were thrown in front of you as you were writing the book that made it difficult to continue?
One of the challenges was in deciding how to write a book about relationships that is sensible, practical, user-friendly, unpretentious, and without judgement – on which readers, ranging from those inexperienced in gay male relationships to men who have been around the block a few times, could identify.
After doing some extensive research on the types of relationship advice available on the internet (YouTube, forums, books, columns, articles, interviews), I found out that all of the information out there is scattered around in bits and pieces. What I offer readers is the big picture and practical steps that they can take to produce results. It was ambitious and it took me awhile to figure out the best format in which to present the book. So far the feedback has been positive and I am quite pleased with the results.
Another obstacle was to find a broad enough range of gay men, both singles and couples to share their perspectives and experiences in the interviews. I wanted this book to cover a variety of gay men in our community. I even interviewed a seventy-three year-old man who never had a relationship in his life, as well as couples who have spent four decades together. Also included are couples who have decided to be monogamous for life and couples who enjoy an open marriage. I personally interviewed African Americans, Hispanics, Caucasians, Asians and Pacific Islanders. I also covered different types of relationships from inter-generational, interracial, long distance, cross-HIV status; and dating a recovering drug addict. It took me some time to find this spectrum of gay men who had the trust in me and were willing to reveal their true selves.
The last obstacle is that writing a book is a time consuming process that seemed like it was never going to end. There were twelve versions altogether and I didn’t feel the book was perfect when it was published. There is always room for improvement, so I guess they can be made in the next edition.
peppii: How did you overcome these obstacles?
There are three words that I use often to overcome obstacles and they are “Purpose, Outcome and Actions.” Please allow me to explain.
“Purpose” – In order to push myself beyond my boundaries and move this book project forward, I constantly reminded myself of the purpose – why am I writing this book? Whenever I encountered challenges, felt discouraged or fatigued, I would verbally tell myself that this book will benefit gay men who want to leave their loneliness behind and live their dreams. My purpose fueled me and gave me strength to overcome all those obstacles.
“Outcome” – The clarity of knowing the multiple outcomes that I must produce in order to finish my book (the final outcome). All these small outcomes stacked up and built milestones and they had to be measurable. Every baby step I accomplished along the way was a victory and a celebration. So, focusing on the final outcome is critical.
“Actions” – Taking massive actions in order to move forward. I used a system to categorize all the actions needed and if something didn’t work out, I had to adapt and change my approach to make things happen.
Like everyone else, we have, throughout our lives, been able to accomplish goals that we thought were impossible. But after we reach our goals, when we look back, do we pat ourselves on our shoulders and tell ourselves: “Did I really do that?” If not, we need to.
So, it was consciously manipulating my own psychology that helped me finish this journey.
peppii: Over what period of time did you spend writing the book?
From the time when I had the notion of writing this book to it being in my hand, it took 18 months.
What part of the book was the most difficult to write? What part of the book was the easiest to write?
The most difficult part of the book to write was to create the structure of a step-by-step process that made sense and was easy to follow. It took me awhile to refine the sequences of these steps so it flowed well. Also, most of the time we know what we should do, but end up not doing things that we must do. This is a common handicap. I found it quite challenging to write in a way that would motivate readers to take actions such as doing the exercises and taking actions in real life.
As for the easy part, it was explaining the quotes from the interviews. Since I was the one who interviewed each and every interviewee, I had a full understanding about their perspectives. It was quite easy for me to explain the messages they wanted to share with the readers.
Was there any particular thing or persons that inspired you to keep on writing when it was difficult?
Yes, indeed. As I mentioned earlier, two years ago, I met this nice seventy-three year-old gentleman who never had an intimate relationship in his life. I was shocked because his experience was entirely different than mine. My first reaction was, how could this be possible? And then my next reaction was, how can I help? It was his experience that inspired me to write the book. Since then, I have consulted him and, today, I am happy to say that he is in a relationship and is joyful. So, it is never too late to find happiness. I truly believe that there is someone for everyone.
peppii: What types of activities are you planning to promote the book?
I am in the middle of preparing the launch right now. My website finally went live and I am preparing newsletter content. I am also producing videos that give pointers in dating and relationships. And of course, I will promote the book through various social media channels, as well as book signing events.
peppii: Are there any new writing projects on the horizon?
Not for the book project at the moment. My goal in 2016 is to create an online course that is based on the book. I understand that reading is not for everyone and some people are more visual than others. This online course will go deeper and explain why most gay men fail in their relationships. I will help them to examine their past and provide a blueprint they can use to find the right direction. This is an ambitious project and I forecast that it would take another six months to complete.
When I start work on the next writing project, it will probably be called “8 Steps To Marry Your Gay Husband.”
Thank you, Scott, for taking the time to tell us about your new book. And on behalf of gay men everywhere, I’d also like to thank you for taking the time to write the book in order to give hope to the lonely and those who want to find their ideal life partner.
(Scott is so passionate about helping his fellow gay brothers that he is offering his book free of charge in PDF format – please see below.)
Use promotion code: TVRYXH5F to purchase the paperback, after logging into your Amazon account, for only $7.99.
Also, Scott feels so strongly about the information and steps that he has put together for his fellow gay brothers, that he is offering the book free of charge in PDF format as a gift to the gay community.