I started to draft my thoughts into a book during sick leave in 2007, and then spent many hours throughout 2008 forming the chapters to help make sense of my initial off-loaded thoughts. My time was occupied during 2009 and 2010 so the book went on the back-burner, until I found time on my hands in 2011.
During this period I took the project so serious that I was happy enough with the content and chapter structures to print off a copy for my partner and mother to read. My partner at that time was hugely busy with work and his family commitments, making reading a luxury, and all reading matter had to be exceptional to stop him nodding off.
He is not a ‘detail’ person, he tends to skim read and his choice would be the ‘New Scientist’ magazine. So bearing this in mind it was unlikely I would gain the constructive criticism I was yearning on not just the subjects covered, but the quality of the grammar and sentence structure. His feedback was useful but limited – especially as he had lived through most of the experiences, so nothing was too surprising to read – they may have traumatised him first time round and now he was reliving the dramas!
He suggested I send it to a professional, perhaps a literary agent, for a second opinion, but I was not anywhere near ready for that – I just wanted to know if I was heading in the right direction for a book with meaning and purpose. So now all hope on whether this book was a goer was pinned on my mother, who is an avid reader, but … an avid reader of spy and mystery solving books.
My mother did read the draft, and I’m not sure if it’s because she is my mum and wants to give me positive feedback, or whether it’s because she too has lived through most of my OCD experiences, but again I wasn’t receiving enough critical and constructive feedback other than “you should get this printed to help other people going through the same thing”.
My mother did suggest an incentive to me though – get this book printed and talked about and she would happily discuss it (on my behalf) sitting on the sofa opposite Phillip Schofield on the ‘This Morning’ programme – she so likes watching the ‘silver fox’ Monday to Thursday 10.30 – 12.30. Unfortunately she then added, “don’t sit on this book for too long, because being the age I am, I might die before I get chance to be interviewed”. Now that is an incentive, as I would love to make my mother proud and would hate to deny her the opportunity to meet Phillip Schofield!
After this not very successful printing, reading and feedback exercise I decided to put it all away in a cupboard and return to it with added vigour in the not too distant future, with fresh eyes and perspective. In retrospect this was wise, because during 2012 I was bought a Kindle that revolutionised my reading habits. I could now get my hands (well not literally) on as many OCD books that I could find on Amazon, rather than scouring through books shops finding the odd one. I devoured the books written by other people living with OCD – each giving valuable insights on their experiences and their style of writing.
Roll forward to 2015, when I find time on my hands again, and here we are ready to dust off the last draft and start polishing and refining it, with my style of writing. Times have changed since I originally drafted the book in 2007, when I needed either a publisher to accept it, or to self-publish it myself at a cost of hundreds of pounds from my own pocket. Here in 2015 I can have an e-book online ready to download within days of making a decision to do so, without the need for scrutiny and approval from a third party.
Guess what though … I find that daunting because a) it may not be good enough and b) anyone would be able to see my life in print and/or my poor writing skills. So because of little self-confidence an e-book is for another day, although I continually tell myself that it would be better to print something rather than nothing – it does not have to be a perfect work of art – we all need to start somewhere with the passions in our life. So let’s start with polished extracts here on this “little old, insignificant, hidden amongst millions, blog” as a starter.
I hope you enjoy, or find useful, the content.