Misc · On Writing

After Christmas, before New Year; thoughts on finishing my book in 2018

Christmas is over. Ru and I are back at the flat attempting to transition back from partying/relaxing mode to writing/editing mode; and it’s been bloody difficult. Christmas’s are always full on with my family, and whilst it was lovely and festive and all that, it’s also proving to be really different to ‘come back’ from. I’m trying to edit, while all I really want to do is lie around eating chocolate and watching movies.

But no! I am back on WordPress; and attempting to use it a stepping stone back into writing and actual concentration. Ru is with me, and is reading back through his primary novel; the big one, and the one he hopes to start sending off to agents in the new year.

I currently have six projects which I am working on; four novels, one short story and my baby– the Self Help Book. I’ve been working on this for just under two years, am on fourth edit and have relatively high hopes for it. It charts the course I took back from the madlands; through all the rocky twisted planes of depression, delusion, full blown fury and frustration and finally back to a place I could tentatively call peace, or contentment. I’ve basically used all my experiences to put together a ‘pathway back from severe and pervasive mental illness,’ which started out as a series of notes about six years ago and is now a 75,000 word book.

It still needs a lot of work, and I know there are still many man-hours of work ahead of me, but I’m hopeful that 2018 will be the year that I finish it. I have, like any fledgling author, extremely high hopes for my baby. I feel as though I’m writing a book which could be useful for people suffering mental illness, as well as their families and also doctors and mental health professionals. I feel as though it’s a book which focuses on the idea of recovery, but also works to maintain that schizophrenia is not something to be feared or mistrusted; it’s only a condition of the mind, body and soul which takes some time to assimilate.

I make it clear, very early on in the book, that one of the central reasons I feel I’ve been able to recover was that I never believed what the doctors told me; I knew I wasn’t ill, exactly, and I maintained, from day one, that I knew more than they did about what was happening to me. The doctors were like the parabolic blind men trying to understand the elephant; all they saw and grasped was the trunk or the tail or the ears- I was the only one seeing the whole elephant!

Years later, and my stubbornness has been vindicated. The more I read about doctors such as Szasz and R D Laing, who have challenged the orthodoxy of psychiatry, and eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, the more I come to know that my version of events is a lot closer to a “truth,” of any kind, than the doctors cut and dry opinion that I was merely ill.

So I feel as though there’s a lot in this book that I am trying to finish which could be useful, both to people trying to recover from the negative ‘symptoms’ of ‘mental illness,’ and for people trying to understand the condition of schizophrenia as a whole. As said, I am on the fourth edit now, and am basically working to polish each chapter into forms which could be at a publishable standard. I feel as though the really hard work is behind me; the body of the book is written; all I need to do now is edit.

Christmas is behind me, and 2018 looms. I know that if I want to get the book into a form which I feel I could send off to agents I will need to knuckle down and adopt some serious focus. But I’m fairly equal to that; in fact I’m looking forward to it. This happens every year for me; after all the madness and mayhem of Christmas and new years I start to crave normality, routine and leafy vegetables to counter all the extravagance of the last month.

All that is important is what is ahead of me, and what is going to come in the new year; and I have really high hopes! I hope that everyone else does as well, and that all of your 2018’s are as awesome as you dream they could be..

Happy New years Eve eve 🙂

3 thoughts on “After Christmas, before New Year; thoughts on finishing my book in 2018

  1. Now try to imagine what it’s like when you can only see the trunk of the elephant, or the tail, ears or feet.

    I remember reading something by the author and doctor Oliver Sacks, and thinking, “you’ve got three diseases here, and each one of them is a manifestation of unawareness”. That is to say, the subconscious.

    He could see the different maladies, he couldn’t “join the dots.” And this is a gifted writer, long experienced in the world of psychiatry and hugely respected for his work.

    And he doesn’t get it!!! He doesn’t get it any more than your doctors did.

    I want to add that it takes a special sort of person to be able to comprehend this kind of thing; I met two of them today – an unusual but happy occurrence – both of whom ‘got it’.

    It takes a person who, amongst those special people, is as special amongst them as they are amongst the population at large, who can dig their way out of the pit you were thrown into as a young kid.

    At least your psychs were able to do something to help you, for all their inability to help you in a truly meaningful way.

    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Gem, has been ages since I had your words of encouragement and they always work to give me a boost. I’m hoping to get back to the book in a serious way in the new year- I hope I can use that to put across some of my ideas, as mad as they may be 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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