I am delighted to be bringing you the next post in the blog tour for How I Motivated Myself to succeed by Shelley Wilson. I am even more delighted to welcome Shelley with a guest post to celebrate:
Giving Up On My Book and Then Finding My Mojo Again
When you decide to write a book there’s a relatively easy process to follow. You choose a working title, plot and plan your chapters, and then begin to write. Yes, it can be a tad more complicated than that but you get the general idea!
I started writing How I Motivated Myself to Succeed back in 2015, soon after my first book, How I Changed My Life in a Year was released and I began receiving positive feedback. It felt like the right time to activate the ‘relatively easy process’ part of writing a sequel. Unfortunately, when I was 30,000 words into my first draft I became ill. Not writing related ill, but viral infection ill!
(Excerpt from How I Motivated Myself to Succeed): It’s ironic that after writing a book called How I Changed My Life in a Year, my entire life changed yet again in the space of a few months. I was bitten by an insect; we don’t know the exact species of the vampire that caused so much damage, but my body began to react to the viral infection it left me with. I would lose the feeling in my arm and hand, I was utterly exhausted at the drop of a hat, and my legs vibrated so strongly I felt like I’d been plugged in and left on standby. There were so many different symptoms that I didn’t know from one day to the next what I would be dealing with when I woke up. I could tick everything on the Lyme disease symptom checker, and yet every test returned as a negative. I guess it was inevitable that with the stress of this undiagnosed illness, the hospital visits, closing my much-loved business, running a home, and keeping the kids fed and watered, I would blow a fuse; the dark fog of depression descended very quickly and without remorse.
Those precious 30,000 words were thrown in the bin as I struggled to keep my head above water. My editor was brilliant and called me brave when I explained that I felt I’d lost my writer’s voice and couldn’t complete the project. Writing a self-help book requires a great deal of care. You, as the author, are stepping into the role of therapist, or mentor, and what you say can have a huge impact on the reader. The majority of the self-help audience are searching for answers, help, and guidance. If I was broken, then there was no way I could help anyone else. Readers are incredibly savvy and they would see right through a half-hearted attempt to be inspiring. I’ve abandoned reading many a self-help book because I was having a bad day, but as an author of motivational books a ‘bad day’ just isn’t going to translate well.
(Excerpt from How I Motivated Myself to Succeed): Many of the self-help books I read will power through to the end of whatever subject they are covering until you arrive at the light bulb moment, which is great. But there has been the odd occasion when I’ve been partway through an exercise and abandoned the book entirely because of a bad mood, off day, or lack of inspiration. I think it’s important to accept the fact that ‘shit happens’ and sometimes it’s out of our control. Learning to deal with issues, and then carrying on is a huge achievement, and if you’ve ever done this pat yourself on the back.
It took a great deal of self-care before I started to feel human again. This all happened a few years ago now and yet I still have to deal with recurring symptoms, utter exhaustion, and dark days. My life has changed in so many ways and my writer’s voice has altered too. It took time, but my mojo returned and one day I sat at my computer and started to type. The words poured out in a wave and I was emotionally drained by the end. However, I also felt a sense of pride that I’d learned yet another life lesson along this painful journey. I’ve dubbed my new release as the sequel-that’s-not-a-sequel due to the ups and downs of its arrival, but for all the heartache and despair, I believe the book is better for it. I’d love to know what you think?
(Excerpt from How I Motivated Myself to Succeed): I’m a great believer in things happening for a reason. When I had to close my beloved holistic health business due to my illness, my clients, and I to some extent, saw it as a new beginning and a destiny that needed to be fulfilled. My wonderful ladies told me I was meant to be writing and this illness was the universe giving me an almighty shove in the right direction. When I embraced this new freedom to write, I was plagued with an inability to put pen to paper. Now, I think that I had a different lesson to learn before I could move on. Maybe that’s true, or maybe my only lesson for this life is to slow down, appreciate everything I have, and don’t sweat it.
I’d like to finish with a huge thank you to my delightful host, Chris. Thank you for reading and be sure to check out the other host spots for more inspiration, motivation, and a sprinkle of fun.
If you would like to read more about Shelley’s story then take a look at her new release, How I Motivated Myself to Succeed, out now in paperback and eBook, and packed full of information on self-care, freeing yourself from fear, organising your life, and much more.
Shelley is a multi-genre author of non-fiction self-help and young adult fantasy fiction. Her latest release, How I Motivated Myself to Succeed is being dubbed as the sequel-that’s-not-a-sequel to her bestselling book, How I Changed My Life in a Year. She writes a personal development blog (www.motivatemenow.co.uk) as well as an author blog (www.shelleywilsonauthor.com) where she shares book reviews, author interviews, and random musings about writing. Shelley was thrilled to win the Most Inspirational Blogger Award at the Bloggers Bash in 2016, and to scoop second place in the same category in 2017. She is a single mum to three teenagers and a black cat, loves pizza, vampires, and The Walking Dead, and has a slight obsession with list writing.