Having been at Watford football club for 17 years and enjoying the highs of playing in the Premier League, as well as the lows of relegation, Richard Lee’s move to Brentford should have been the start of an exciting new chapter in his life. However life doesn’t always pan out the way it’s intended.
Dropped after one game and behind three other goalkeepers, this was to become the biggest challenge of his career. At one point, he thought about quitting the game altogether. Fortunately for Brentford fans, he chose to fight for his place and in the process, began writing a book on his BlackBerry mobile phone.
Here, Richard talks to Mobilesplease about his book and why he wrote all 50,000 words on his phone!
Mobilesplease: Tell us about your new book, Graduation; it’s not your average footballer’s book, is it?
Richard Lee: No, it’s certainly quite unique. It would be hard to know where to catagorise it as there are elements of both an autobiography and self help material involved.
In a nutshell the story itself comprises of me joining a new team, Brentford, on the back of 17 years with my boyhood club, Watford. I subsequently lose my place early on, finding myself way down the pecking order. I claw my way back and in doing do experience the drama of several penalty shootouts, hypnotherapy, injury, awards and much more!
Also being qualified in NLP and having read hundreds of books on the mind as well as attending more seminars than I care to remember, I link in much of the knowledge I’ve learned to help create something enjoyable to read but with something that each reader can take away and use, whatever their circumstances may be.
RL: In some ways it happened by accident. It began as being a blog for my website and before I knew it I’d written 10,000 words and was only 15 games into the season. It was at this point that I realised I was onto something quite unique. I’d certainly never had a season like it and to use a cliché it certainly was a ‘roller coaster’ of a season.
As luck would have it I mentioned the idea to a friend who had recently had a book published, he introduced me to the publisher and the rest is history as they say!
MP: Is it true that you wrote it on a BlackBerry mobile phone?
RL: It is yes. I organise my life via my BlackBerry if I’m honest. I have a habit of getting to training at 6.30am, even though we’re not due to report until 9.30am as this gives me the perfect opportunity to have some quiet time to reply to emails, plan my week and in this case, write my book!
MP: What BlackBerry model do you have?
RL: It’s the BlackBerry Bold model. For me it’s essential that I have a keypad, I’m now at a point where I don’t need to look at the screen, similar to those who Touch-type on a keyboard, I can write long emails and texts incredibly quickly, perhaps even faster than I could on a keyboard itself. That coupled with BBM, the ease at which I can use social media and stay in touch with the world made it a no-brainer for me in choosing this phone.
MP: Why did you choose a BlackBerry over something like an iPhone?
RL: For the lifestyle I lead, having to reply to hundreds of emails a day, the BlackBerry makes far more sense. The iPhone is a lot of fun but I couldn’t imagine it enabling me to be anywhere near as efficient as I am on a BlackBerry.
MP: Do you have plans to write another book, and if so, will you be writing it on your phone again?
RL: Yes and yes! I wrote a lot of my previous book while sunbathing last summer on holiday, which made the whole process of writing it an immense amount of fun! As soon as inspiration comes to write a sentence or a paragraph or two I will begin to type it into my notes in my phone. Once finished, I simply email the notes to myself ready to be sent to the publisher, it was such a simple process and one I would happily do again.
MP: As well as writing books, you’re also involved with a goalkeeper coaching school and appeared on Dragon’s Den, looking for investment in your New Era cap business. Where do you find the time to play football?!
RL: Ha, time management is key.
It’s currently 6.37am and I’m sat outside the training ground – training isn’t until 9.30am! I love giving myself some quality time each morning to progress my various ventures. That coupled with a fantastic assistant that I have who helps run the businesses, which enables me to focus on pushing the ventures forward.
In keeping with much I speak about in the book I truly believe we are all capable of creating an exciting life, one filled with variety and adventure. In my own kind of way I’m living that of which I speak – and I’m loving every moment.
MP: Thanks Richard, and good luck for the rest of the season!