I’ve Written A Book! Writing ‘Living At The Speed Of Light’

I’ve wanted to write a book for years. More specifically, I’ve wanted to write a book about my experiences of mental illness. So about five years ago, I started putting together a memoir, of everything I’ve been through living with Bipolar disorder. When it was finished, I sent it to a few publishers….but it wasn’t what they were looking for. I shelved it, believing no one was interested in hearing my story. In early 2019 I told myself I’d send it out one last time, not with much hope or expectation of anything coming of it. This time though, the response was different. The publisher, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, were willing to work with me, if I made some changes. We discussed it over a couple of weeks and came to the decision that the book could work as part memoir, part guide to living with Bipolar disorder.

I put together a proposal of what the book would look like, and wrote a sample chapter. The answer; they liked it, and I had a book deal!

Now I just had to write it. I couldn’t use my original manuscript, I had to start from scratch. I had four months to get it as perfect as I could. It wasn’t an easy process. Writing a book is bloody hard work! Anyone that writes a blog, journals, or talks about their mental illness on social media knows that it’s draining. After a day spent writing about my experiences for the book, and sharing my insights and advice, I was emotionally exhausted. I had to look after myself during those four months and talk it through with people close to me, like my partner Jimi. Then I sent it to my publisher. I was so nervous to press send on that email! I didn’t need to be – there were changes I needed to make, but nothing stressful. Before I knew it, the editing process was complete.

Of course the book needed a name – and the one we finally decided on – Living At The Speed Of Light. I felt it really explained what life can be like sometimes living with bipolar, with changing extreme moods ruling your life.

Now the book is available to preorder! It’s out officially on 18th March 2021. It’s for anyone who lives with Bipolar, who feels they may have it or is newly diagnosed. It’s for those of you who have someone in your life with Bipolar, and you want to learn more about it, and ways you can help. It’s also for anyone that just wants to know more about Bipolar from someone who’s been through it, and lived with the condition for nearly 20 years.

I’m immensely proud of this book. I wrote it thinking about what I had needed when I was first diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. I needed someone who had been there, that had found their way through the maze of this ridiculously complex illness and had advice and knowledge to share. I would have wanted a story I could relate to, and tips for living and thriving that actually made sense. My goal is that Living At The Speed Of Light will help people with Bipolar disorder, and it will help others understand what it’s like to live with. If it helps one person, then it’s all been worth it.

7 thoughts on “I’ve Written A Book! Writing ‘Living At The Speed Of Light’

  1. Steph

    Can I just say that I’ve been subscribed to your blog for so long and I don’t know you but I’m so proud of you. Living with mental illness myself you inspire me every time I read your posts and you give me hope.
    Thank you for your sharing your journey so honestly
    Steph x


    1. Katie Conibear

      Thank you so much Steph! This has given me such a boost – my confidence has been terrible recently so comments like these mean everything to me x


  2. Suzanne

    Katie, I pre-ordered your book and devoured it immediately upon release. Thank you! Thank you so much for your clear and thorough coverage of your experiences and your research! I was especially grateful for the no-holds-barred explanation of what it really is like for you from your own perspective AND for the input of your husband, mother, father and brother. I am recently married to a man who was in a manic phase when we met, and for a good year afterwards more or less. It wasn’t until the depths of his depression well into our first year of marriage that I recognized his bi-polar condition. It is not something he recognizes, talks about or is currently treated for. It seems that for him it is just a memory of an illness he had in his 20’s (he’s 41 now). He is untreated, un-medicated, and (as you can imagine) struggling. Self medicating with alcohol as well as juggling a number of other physical health issues leaves him a bit of a wreck most days (and me too), but with patience and research I am learning to be a support, a best friend, a wife, a partner, a caregiver and NOT a stumbling block for him. You have truly given me an understanding far greater than anything I have read. To bring some perspective, I also have a diploma in biblical-based counselling and both of my 21 year old children are in fields of psychology (post-secondary school) so I am not entirely uninformed. Again, your book and blog are a beautiful timely blessing for myself and my family. Best wishes to you! Please keep writing! And keep including your family’s perspectives too. Together, family and friends make ALL the difference!! My warmest regards to all of you. ~ Suzanne


    1. Katie Conibear

      Thank you Suzanne, what a lovely message! Honestly family to me is so important and my partner especially is my foundation. I have so much respect for people like you who go through so much supporting their loved one with this illness. If you’d like to spread the word a bit further, it would be wonderful if you could leave me a review on amazon!


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