When Lane Farrell was in third grade, he was behind all of his classmates when it came to his reading level. It didn’t sit well with Farrell, who is now a senior at Valencia High School.
“I really took it to heart,” Farrell, a varsity baseball player, said. “Okay, I really need to improve on my reading. Even though I was super young, I knew it and so I improved on it.”
Now when Farrell walks across the Valencia campus, his peers approach him asking where they can get his recently-published book.
The book, titled “Life: From Generation Z,” is a self-help book that delves into topics like hard work, something that Farrell has valued ever since he was a third-grader. It also discusses challenges that he himself has gone through or seen his friends go through, such as finding a purpose, mental health and evil vs. virtue.
“I’ve always been good at giving people advice and I had been told by many people that my advice like … originally they were joking around but they were like, you should make that into a book,” Farrell said.
Farrell wrote 50 pages in his sophomore year, but scrapped the idea after failing to find the confidence in himself to finish it. A year later, he tried his hand again at writing.
Every day he woke up and attended 7 a.m. classes, then went to baseball practice after school. He came home to do homework and have some family time, then at 11 p.m. sat at his computer with a dim light and typed until as late as 3 a.m.
Even though he was putting a lot of work into his craft, there were some that doubted a 17-year-old prep baseball player could actually finish a book.
“To people that aren’t my immediate friends, they almost took it like almost as being a joke at first because they didn’t understand that I was actually smart,” Farrell said. “Having a lot of friends and having a lot of relationships with people, for whatever reason, they just don’t’ think that you’re smart.”
He began writing “Life: From Generation Z” at the start of his junior year and finished in April, but it wasn’t until October that he was able to publish the book and make it available for purchase on Amazon.com. In mid-November, he received his first shipment of hard copies.
At $13 apiece, the first shipment sold out. He received a second shipment. Those sold out, too.
Farrell was thrilled with the early success not just for himself, but for the fact that he was getting a positive message out to his audience. Part of his motivation to write the book was to defend Generation Z, the “social media generation” and dismantle stereotypes about instant gratification and laziness that sometimes surround his generation.
“We’re being expected so much and we’re not given the tools to do so,” he said. “And I go more in-depth in my book.”
“My favorite part is when I talk about meaning,” Farrell said. “Meaning is something that is very important to me and is not necessarily having to do with a single religion or anything like that, but I believe there is meaning behind everything we do and we must assert that meaning is the most important of all things that we have more so than any other feeling we could have.”
Farrell has no plans to write another book in the immediate future and is focusing on college to major in business and finding a job, but said that if inspiration strikes, he’ll start typing away again. Just like when he was in third grade, if Farrell sets his mind to something, he’ll get it done.