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.