A few days ago, I finally released the news that I’ll be releasing a book and I posted a little behind-the-scenes video (which you can watch here) and then revealed the book cover yesterday (which you can see here)! I talked about how I felt that my first book (When All Is Said & Typed – which you can still buy here) was really a copy and paste job and that – in the grand scheme of things – I hadn’t put a whole lot of effort into it. Deciding to publish every single one of my blog posts in one book meant that within a week of releasing the book, it was no longer current and I was left with the feeling that it needed to constantly be updated with all my latest blog posts. So, I wanted to write a new book which I felt I’d worked hard on, was more passionate about, dedicated to, and which would still feel relevant in a year’s time!
I got the idea into my head that to do this, I wanted the new book to have a whole lot less order than my previous one which had been arranged into chapters and with the blog posts in chronological order. I want this book to be a bit of a jumble of information, resources, stories, advice… everything! Hence the decision to title the book; Everything Disordered!
Since my blog post announcing my plans for the book, I’ve had a few emails and private messages on my social media from readers asking for tips and advice on writing a book, and so I thought maybe it was worth an entire blog post!
Now, I’m by no means an expert on writing a book, so these tips are just things that I’ve learnt along the way and things which I find useful in the process of creating a book (in no particular order)…
I believe that finding a purpose in life is one of the most rewarding, contented feelings that you can have. Before I’m NOT Disordered, I was very unsure about what I should be doing with my life; after the abuse I thought that I wanted to be a Lawyer so that I could help others to get justice for any unfair experiences. Then my mental health deteriorated and with it, any knowledge or confidence in an ideal future and career. From my very first suicide attempt in 2009 until I started blogging in 2013, I literally had no idea of the type of job I’d like and I floated around the ideas of working in retail, looking after children, becoming a mental health Nurse, and working in fashion!
I honestly think that since day one – January 6th 2013 – of I’m NOT Disordered, I knew I’d found my purpose in life and whilst I still struggled with thoughts of self-harm and feeling suicidal; I felt comforted by the knowledge that I had something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. This realization became a reason to stay alive and to fight all the thoughts and ideas that opposed me continuing to have a life. I feel that finding purpose in blogging has really illustrated the importance of writing in my life and for me as a person; and this importance has led to my eagerness to pursue writing further and to create an entire book!
PASSION & ENERGY
I think that passion kind of comes hand-in-hand with purpose in that often, if you believe you’ve found a purpose in writing your book, it instils a passion in you to create the book to the very best of your ability and using absolutely all your energy reserves!
I’ve always had a passion for writing because from a very young age I enjoyed it. I used to write tons of short stories – usually about ponies(!) – in my many notebooks and my Mum and Nana would read every single one of them with a smile on their face! It taught me from a young age that writing could influence a person’s thoughts and emotions and I really admired having that power and control to be able to do that. As I got older and gave up the horse stories to begin keeping diaries, I realised that writing could be such a release for any pent up feelings where it was much more healthy to write about them as it enabled you to process them properly. When the abuse started, though, for many reasons I couldn’t tell anyone so the only thing remotely resembling a confidante was my diary, even though my entries became briefer and less descriptive. Just having some where I could write even the most minimal of details was really helpful and it was what prompted me to write a lot more when my mental health began to deteriorate.
When I realized that writing about how I was feeling and what I had been through for the psychiatric hospital staff really helped them to better support me with my recovery, I developed a very deep passion for writing and knew it would be a huge part of my life.
SUPPORT & INSPIRATION
Finding inspiration in life can be extremely useful and supportive in working towards – and even achieving – your goals! I’ve had many inspirations in my life, but my one constant is my Mum; I’ve always said that if I could be half the Mum she is then my children would be extremely lucky, honoured, and privileged! My Mum is the strongest, bravest, most caring person I know, and she’s forever overcoming obstacles and showing me that it’s great to be independent, but it’s also ok to ask for help when you need it. She has taught me that one of the bravest things you can do is speak up when you’re not feeling all that brave.
Over time, as my passion and goals have changed, so have my inspirations; but since I started blogging, my main ones have been Zoe Sugg of Zoella, and Victoria McGrath of InTheFrow. Both have shown me that it really is possible to grow something small into something so completely huge that it surprises even the people who believed in it’s potential! Zoe has then perfectly illustrated the rewards you can reap from your hard work, and Victoria has taught me that you should carry on working your ass off, even after you’ve received those rewards!
TIME, PATIENCE, FOCUS, & DEDICATION
With my first book being a copy and paste job, it didn’t feel as though it took at all long to put together and publish. I mean, I felt that I didn’t really put much thought or a whole lot of effort into it and so I didn’t feel as though I deserved even just one of the sales it had!
Not working so hard on my first book means that this one has been a bit of a shock to the system because I hadn’t discovered just how much time and focus writing a book really needs (and yes, I realise that sounds very naïve of me!). Fortunately, with the Coronavirus Pandemic and subsequent lockdown guidelines, I’ve had a lot more time on my hands and so it’s seemed very possible. As the restrictions are being lifted, though, my diary seems to be becoming much fuller and I’m finding it more and more challenging to dedicate time to writing and planning the book! I’m managing to overcome this by remaining dedicated to the project and passionate about it.
Patience has become a whole new challenge too! Before I started writing this book, I’ve fluctuated between being the most patient person in the world and having very little of it! If ever I’m in Hospital I usually say that I don’t mind waiting for hours as long as I’m not in pain while I wait. But then, if I’m waiting for some test scores or for something to install on the laptop or my iPad… I become very agitated (and occasionally violent when it comes to technology!) and totally impatient. With Everything Disordered, I’ve sort of been forced to master patience because I can’t just put it – and everything I want it to be – together in one day!
COURAGE & BRAVERY
I think that a lot of people may think this is a given because my content is usually centred around mental health and my own journey, but I think they’re qualities everyone needs when writing any genre of book! In creating a book, no matter what the topic, you’re really putting yourself out there because it’s taken all of the above things to encourage the process. In dedicating so much of your time and passion to the book, you’ll naturally have become invested in it and in the response, it receives when released.
When I first started blogging, I was very nervous because for so long, I hadn’t talked publicly about my mental health and now, all of a sudden, I was telling the world my deepest darkest thoughts and feelings! I think that I found bravery and courage in the thought and hope that talking openly about mental health would encourage others to do the same and in doing so, we’d help educate more people and that could reduce stigma and discrimination. Believing that my honesty has the potential to achieve so much gave more motivation to find the courage it was going to take.
Wild Tropique Pink Ballpoint Pens with Stylus (pack of 3) £8.99
Pastel Marbled A5 Journalv £2.99
*my actual laptop*
Yankee Candle Gift Set £24.99
Garnier Tissue Mask Discovery Collection £8.49
TAKING A BREAK ACTIVITIES
100 Animals: Adult Colouring Book £7.99
Harry Potter Box Set: Complete Collection £54.99
Disney Plus: https://www.disneyplus.com/en-gb/home
How To Make It Happen by Maria Hatzistefanis £9.56
Positive Quote Stickers £1.85
I hope that this post has been helpful for those of you who either would like to write a book or who would like more insight into what goes on behind-the-scenes of writing a book!