Sunday, 18 April 2021

ALL THE PRACTICAL ITEMS YOU NEED TO WRITE A BOOK | SNEAK PEEK INSIDE MY BOOK | TWO DAYS UNTIL THE RELEASE OF EVERYTHING DISORDERED

I can’t believe I’m saying this; but in just two short days (April 20th) my book; Everything Disordered, will officially release. As a pre-launch blog post, I thought I’d create a little something about some of the practical things that I’ve needed to write my book and at the end, you may find a little sneak peek inside the book…

Technology devices

The way the world is with technology, it should come as no surprise to hear that technology played a huge role in writing my book; Everything Disordered. There was once a time where an Author would use paper and pen and send it in the post to a publishing company! Now there are so many options and routes you can take in writing a book and having it published, and a lot of these options involve technology.

Since the beginning of I’m NOT Disordered in 2013, I’ve found that a lot of people assume I must be good with technology to have the kind of following my blog has, but that definitely isn’t the case! I have a huge appreciation for technology because I recognise how important and monumental it has been in my life, but I definitely don’t find it unchallenging or in any way, easy to use! In fact, that was probably a big stumbling block in writing Everything Disordered; I was very unconfident in the process of writing the book, uploading it to KDP, and figuring out the sizing issues (which I’ll be discussing in more detail on the 20th). Honestly, the stress and confusion of the whole process was actually really off-putting and occasionally I began regretting my decision to write a book!

So, I think that in recognising that you’ll need to use technology to write your book, I would recommend ensuring you have a certain level of knowledge on the process and that you do your research before starting to write. 

Laptops:


Currys PC World laptops:

https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computing/laptops/laptops/315_3226_30328_xx_xx/xx-criteria.html

HP Stream - £194 (my actual laptop) HP Chromebook - £229 Dell Inspiron - £349 Lenovo IdeaPad - £199 Apple MacBook Air - £937

Phones:

O2 Phones: 

https://www.o2.co.uk/shop/phones#sort=content.sorting.featured&page=1

iPhone 12 - https://www.o2.co.uk/shop/apple/iphone-12-5g#contractType=paymonthly (my actual phone) Samsung Galaxy S21 - https://www.o2.co.uk/shop/samsung/galaxy-s21-plus-5g#contractType=paymonthly Sony Experia 1 || - https://www.o2.co.uk/shop/sony/xperia-1-ii-5g#contractType=paymonthly Huawei P30 - https://www.o2.co.uk/shop/huawei/p30-pro-new-edition#contractType=paymonthly iPhone XR - https://www.o2.co.uk/shop/apple/iphone-xr#contractType=paymonthly

Other devices:

Currys PC World Computing Other Devices: 

https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computing-33-u.html

HP Envy 6032 - £69.99 Canon Pixma - £39.99 Sandstrom Wireless Keyboard & Mouse - £26.99 Apple 5 USB Charger - £19 Microsoft Typecover - £123.98

Technology accessories

So, for this part I decided to select a number of accessories for your technology devices (laptop, phone, iPad etc) that might contribute to an easier journey in writing your book.

I firstly chose some headphones – the main two different types (over-ear and in-ear) – because I found mine quite a big help in writing Everything Disordered. I mostly used my in-ear headphones to do the most obvious job of blocking out any noisy distractions (that doesn’t mean you can’t have music through the headphones!) while I was needing to focus on writing. It’s something I actually learnt was helpful in a psychiatric hospital when I would be trying to blog (I started I’m NOT Disordered as a psychiatric inpatient) and there’d be alarms ringing, bangs against walls, and people screaming and arguing. It was obviously very challenging to concentrate on what I was doing, and it became very easy for me to lose my train of thought mid-sentence!

Initially, I actually felt quite bad turning up the volume and blocking things out because I questioned whether I should be confronting the difficulty and learning to cope with it without trying to escape from it. I worried that using headphones was just like running away from the problem, and this is was quite honestly something that had led to my hospitalisation, so I understandably wasn’t exactly keen to repeat the behaviour!

The three other items are other accessories I’ve found helpful… The iPad keyboard was useful if I was travelling and didn’t want to take my laptop, it helped if I either wanted to continue writing the book or had a sudden thought and inspiration that I wanted to record. The portable powerbank allowed me to not panic if I found myself using my phone or iPad a lot and started to worry about its battery life. And the external hard drive was actually a new discovery for me and came about solely because of my book. You'll soon find out that there’s quite a few pages of graphics throughout the book and they were very big in terms of storage size. With my laptop not being a very hardcore, fancy one(!), it didn’t have the room to save everything, so I bought an external hard drive. It was also a wise move in that it meant all of my documents concerning the book were in one place and that place wouldn’t be at risk if my laptop were to completely break!

OneOdio Over-Ear Heaphones – £33.99 JVC In-Ear Headphones - £5.49 Ipad Case with Detachable Keyboard - £25.49 Powerbank - £19.99 Toshiba External Hard Drive - £39.98

Workstation

Another very recently learnt useful tool I’ve learnt is helpful is having a healthy, and pleasant, workstation or environment.

I actually discovered this part because of my new (ish, I started a month ago) job with St Oswald’s Hospice as Kickstart Project Coordinator. I was loaned a laptop for my role and it was instantly apparent that I really needed a designated workspace in my home. Usually, using my own laptop, I’m either on the settee or on my bed so I wanted something a bit safer (for the laptop!).

I also wanted something a bit more formal so that I could have the sense that I was ‘at work’ instead of just on a laptop on my bed. It also served as a reminder to not be checking social media all the time! So, I transformed my dressing table in my bedroom into a desk and as soon as I sit in that chair, it’s as though I’m putting on my other ‘hat’ and becoming an employee as opposed to not having too many deadlines, tasks, or a boss!

When I was writing Everything Disordered, I actually didn’t use the desk; I discovered a ‘set up’ on my bed which worked, but it still illustrated that having a place you’re comfortable and a space where you can feel productive and less distracted, is helpful. 

Laptop Tray - £36.99 Laptop Desk - £16.99 Computer Writing Desk – £101.99 Office Chair - £65.99 Swing Arm Desk Lamp - £29.99

Stationary

Equal to the technology bit, I’d like to think that needing some amount of stationary, would be an obviously useful tool in writing a book.

Since I was younger and writing short stories in notebooks, I’ve had a passion for stationary! I loved the notion of starting a new page or a new notebook and using a new pen or a highlighter. I think part of this comes from my creative side, but I recognise that it also probably stems from my passion to be organised and to find that using stationary products can aid me in doing that.

In writing Everything Disordered, I was pleased to discover that a number of different notebooks were helpful! It was good to have a memo block to scribble on, and then a little notebook to carry around in case an idea came to me while I was out, and a larger notebook to add all of my notes to and develop some kind of order for them. 

Notebooks, journals etc:

Planner by Lola Design - £14.99 Project Note Pad - £9.69 Wrendale Designs Memo Block - £12.45 Dotted Journal - £17.99 4 Pack Exercise Books - £8.99

Accessories:

Stabilo Pastel Highlighters - £3.75 Mini Office Stationary Set - £4.78 Inspirational Ballpoint Pens - £10.99 Pastel 8 Piece Stationary Set - £19.95 East Hill Pen Pouch - £9.99

Sources of inspiration

If you’ve been a reader of, I’m NOT Disordered or have followed my social media for a while, you likely won’t be surprised with the items included in this list.

Firstly, I have a scrapbook myself and thoroughly enjoy putting the pages together and using my creative in a more obvious way than writing is. I like designing themed pages and usually tear up magazines to decorate them; as well as using arts and crafts products to make the page a little bit more interactive, tactile, and interesting. Often, creating these pages and the pieces of the magazines I’ve torn, inspires a new idea, a new topic, and new aspect of my life I don’t think I’ve spoken about.

Secondly, I very obviously find writing inspirational so keeping a themed diary or taking a course in writing, can be really motivating.  It can instil a new confidence in your creative writing and having that, can inspire you to consider writing about topics and themes you might’ve previously felt unsure about tackling.

Finally, the item you’ll probably be least surprised about is Victoria Magrath’s book, The New Fashion Rules. Most of you may know that I find great inspiration in Victoria’s work ethic and goals from the work she puts into her blog; www.inthefrow.com. She is one of a few popular bloggers who seems to actually continue to work her butt off for all of the opportunities and experiences she achieves/is offered. It’s as though no level of achievement stops her from trying to do better and achieve more, but at the same time, she really appreciates and enjoys all that she does achieve. I love this work ethic because I’ve seen a few bloggers who have gotten a high number of readers and then they’ve just seemed to rest on their laurels and adopt the attitude that opportunities will be handed to them on a silver plate and they no longer need to put time and effort into their work.

So, Victoria is an absolute role model and a huge inspiration. It isn’t all about her work ethic though, it’s also about the work she produces. The high quality it is, the effort and time that has gone into it, and the dedication and passion it illustrates. And whilst inthefrow is very much a fashion and beauty blog, sometimes their topics/themes inspire ideas in me that equate to something relevant for mental health. 

Scrapbook - £5.05 Scrapbook Kit - £11.99 6 Minute Diary - £21.90  Creative Writing Coursebook - £13.30 The New Fashion Rules by Victoria Magrath - £13.52

Self-soothe items

Self-soothing is a skill I found to be helpful for my mental health from Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) as a psychiatric inpatient.

It’s been one of the DBT skills when you’re learning it, you’re left thinking ‘why have I never tried this before?!’ Like it’s a straightforward and seemingly relatively simple coping mechanism so I was honestly baffled as to why it had never even crossed my mind to try and see if it helped.

Initially, I worried that if something as simple as putting my pyjamas on or doing some physical self-care in the form of washing my hair or doing my make-up helped my mental health, maybe people would think I wasn’t really struggling that much. That I can’t have been that serious when I voiced thoughts around self-harm or talked about feeling suicidal. So, I developed the belief that no one should be judged for the thing that helps them get through something difficult. Of course, these coping methods can be unhealthy and unsafe and dangerous, but they should never leave a person feeling judged and stigmatised.

I found self-soothing helpful in writing Everything Disordered because – hopefully no one’s surprise – writing a book can be so stressful and it can take a huge amount of time and effort. So allowing yourself the time out of those hectic moments, to look after yourself – physically and emotionally – can be important in ensuring that you’re at your very best when writing the book. 

Dream Scene Chunky Throw - £18.99 Slipper Socks - £9.49 Yankee Candle Reed Diffuser - £17.09 Radox Bath Salts - £5.71 Mindfulness Colouring Book - £6.22


Finally, the sneak peek inside Everything Disordered...