My new eBook, 100 Days of Mind Food For Weight Managers, is only days away from being released. It’s a few weeks later than expected because of all sorts of hold ups and I’m more than a little impatient to see it go live now.
As I set out to write it I was full of enthusiasm and excitement and I very quickly got down to work and assembled the writing I had already done for various newsletters over the eight years or so I have been doing this work. I could see clearly how it all fitted together – or so I thought – and how I could present it so it built into a coherent book that people would enjoy reading and using. But then I stalled, I hit that brick wall of doubt and worry. The more I did my research the more I saw that other writers in this field had endless university qualifications – I have some in Modern Languages and Counselling but they’re not quite the same as a Ph.D in Applied Psychology and many years of academic research in my head. I literally ground to a halt in my writing wondering if I was doing the right thing at all and if I was the right sort of person to even be writing this sort of book.
It’s ironic that with my own counselling training I could not see past the crooked thinking that engulfed my mind. Sometimes when we are so close to our own problems we only see what appears to be right in front of us and discount the evidence that is all around us. Paradoxically by not talking about my worries all the answers came to me in my supervision session with Mary, my own therapist supervisor, the person I explore my work issues with and who ensures that I continue to practice in a safe and ethical way. We were examining some of my case work and she reminded me of my previous career as a writer stretching back over twenty years and the depth of my counselling work and experience in this field in relation to work I was engaged in with an individual client. Two colleagues also commented around this time that their own clients loved my writing in their newsletters and that it made a real impact and helped their clients make changes in their lives. Over the period of a few days my confidence in my own writing and the message I wanted to share came back – it hadn’t really gone away, I was just ignoring the fact that it was there in front of me.
I quickly moved from “I can’t” to “I can”, the doubts and worries not totally gone but shrunk to more realistic proportions and as I did that my fingers rattled over the keyboards and new writing appeared quickly and fluidly as it tends to do once my mind is fully engaged with a project. A friend who is an artist says something similar about his painting when he is in “the zone”. The work appears, not without effort but without struggle and something inside you knows it is right and so it was as my book took shape.
I set to and in just a few days restructured the book and it came out all the better for it and I could clearly see the work left to be done and completed it over the next few weeks. The people who proof-read and edited it gave me very positive feedback and, much encouraged, I can see now that there is place for a follow up book, or maybe two, which will build on what I have already written. For the first time in what seems like a long time, my writing again has central place in my life. It fulfils a deep need in me to create something and share what is important and I hope it helps the people I work with be happier and healthier.
Pushing away those doubts and worries that sapped my own energy reserves has certainly left me happier and healthier. When you’re beset by your own worries and doubts, look around you, speak to people you trust and check if those worries are real. Try and make sure you’re not ignoring evidence that proves you can do what you is important to you. Just a small change in perspective can help you take steps forward to make your life better too.
I’m working on a completely different book at the moment, a compilation of dog stories which will be called “Tell Tail Tales”. A proportion of the profit will go to the rescue centre in Dumfries where one of my own dogs came from and I am very much enjoying putting it all together. Watch this space for news of my writing and those of you that know me, give me a nudge if you think I’m worrying and doubting my own ability. Oh and if you have a great doggy story of your own you’d like to share, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org