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.

I’m Writing A Book!

 

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Yep, the secret is out! I’ve been offered a publishing contract with Jessica Kingsley Publishers to write a book about bipolar disorder.

The book is going to be a practical guide to bipolar disorder. I’ll offer tips and advice on how to navigate daily life and how to manage symptoms. All of this will be alongside my own experiences of living with the condition!

Now I need to just write the bloody thing! You can send me coffee to fuel me whilst I’m busy working on the manuscript over Xmas and into 2020!

And it all started here, on this blog. I’m truly grateful for each and every one of you that takes the time to read my posts. I’ve thought about giving up writing about mental health, and bipolar in particular numerous times, but the support I have online is incredible and has kept me going, so thank you!

It’s made me reflective and as we head into a new decade, I couldn’t think of a better end to this one. In 2010 I was a mess. I was constantly manic or depressed, there was never any respite from the chaos in my mind. It left me exhausted and physically ill. In mid 2012 I had a breakdown and came close to losing everything. I lost my job, and somehow my partner Jimi stuck with me, supported and cared for me, even though I was terrified he would leave.

Then I was diagnosed with bipolar type 1, but believe me, that wasn’t the end of what became the most gruelling, challenging decade. I was out of work for years, and I had to redefine who I was as a person. My career had been my life, it was me. I went on benefits, and was in a constant state of worry over my finances. I had to find a new way of living my life, a healthier way. It took years before I found medication that worked for me. A combination that didn’t have awful side effects.

2019 has been a better year. I took a huge leap and started working as a freelance writer. I write about mental health, and I’m passionate and committed to my job. I’ve finally felt in control of bipolar, rather than it controlling every decision I make. Now, at the end the year, I have a book deal. I’ve come so far and I’m so proud of myself; something I find difficult to do and admit.

The me of 2010 would never have believed what I’m doing now. She was too focused on getting through the next day, the next hour. But I made it through, I fought my way through this decade.

I can’t wait to share the book with you all. For now, I’ll be typing away on the manuscript, but I’ll still be writing here on the blog when I can!