This will be the last post I make on Medium as I have moved to Substack. Sign up free on beiner.substack.com
I’m delighted and daunted to announce that I’ve signed my first book deal! ‘The Bigger Picture: How psychedelics can help us make sense of the world’ is being published by Hay House in 2023.
The book explores how psychedelics can help us reframe our approach to ‘The Three Crises’ of the age: The Meta Crisis, The Meaning Crisis and the Trust Crisis. It also weaves in diary entries from my incredible experiences during Imperial’s continuous-infusion DMT trial (DMT pumped into the bloodstream for 30+ minutes).
I feel insanely grateful and excited to be doing this. When I was nine years old, I decided I was going to be an author. I sat at my dad’s computer and started writing a story about three men walking through a desert toward a tower. About two paragraphs in, I realised I didn’t know what they were going to do next and felt a bit overwhelmed, so I went and played video games instead.
Fast forward ten years, when I had a mushroom trip in which that longing came back with booming certainty. I decided I was going to be a writer, and spent the next three years working on a novel, ‘Beyond the Basin’, about psychedelic culture and shamanism which I self-published in 2009.
Seven years of unsuccessful novel writing followed. I spent three years writing a 150,000 word Gnostic sci-fi Western called ‘Lesser Gods’. I sent it out to rejections, silence, and the agonising sound of crickets. I joined Curtis Brown’s novel development course and wrote ‘Heaven on Earth’ about a man suffering from a delusion that he’s dead, and the chaotic psychologist trying to help him piece his life together. Again, no agents were interested, while a lot of the others on the course signed book deals.
That really stung. I’d put a huge amount of hope and energy into writing novels over years. Though I had the support of my lovely wife Ashleigh throughout, it was a very isolated (and isolating) and increasingly a self-centred process that took energy from my relationships and other parts of my life. I’d sacrificed a lot because of the way I was approaching it, and that last rejection proved to be too much.