Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Book writing news

Started my book-writing course  (today) and although the title isn't fixed yet (something to do with Healing past trauma; how unresolved emotions undermine your health).. I've written some chapter headings and nearly 10,000 words. Of course since the first part of the book is my story (illustrating how even a 'normal' childhood can impact the adult experience of life), it's been reasonably easy to write (who can't write about themselves!). The next few chapters will use case studies to detail the myriad ways in which blocked emotions or trauma (even mild events can be traumatic to a sensitised person) can cause many chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue, anxiety, and numbing. Finally I'll be looking at ways in which you can release these to live a more healthy, satisfying life.

Writing is always self-exposing but particularly when you are writing about your own experience and it has caused me some trepidation as many of the people I am writing about are still alive (my mother for instance). However, it's not a blame-game'. I'm very careful not to get into that with either my clients or myself. The point is; your experience is your experience - it's no-one's fault and the point of healing it is not to divert responsibility to someone else i.e 'it's their fault I ended up this way'. This is, instead, an honest account of how childhood events impact upon the adult by virtue of imprinting in the emotional brain (limbic system and brainstem). I think it's a fascinating area and explains why so many people have intractable pain and distress which does not respond to talk therapies (the origin of these emotions are pre-verbal memories which don't have a narrative).  For instance when I had my tonsils out at age 7 or 8, the idea then was that parents did not stay with you overnight. They just left you there. The experience was extremely frightening for me as my parents in their wisdom didn't tell me till the day they dropped me off, AND, it was the first time I had ever been away from home without them. Hospitals have never been my favourite places (I get a weird anxious feeling in them) and now I know why.

I am boosted in my understanding by a new book hot off the press by Bessel Van der Kolk; 'The Body Keeps the Score'. What a great title. Honestly, it's almost the book I wanted to write although based on his clinical experience which is far greater than mine (he is a trauma specialist in NY). I can't recommend it highly enough if you are interested in this field as I am. it was released in 2014 so bang up to date.

Anyhow, the writing process is ongoing, the main thing is how to publish and in what format - digital or print? lots to learn so an exciting time. Of course I'm not sure anyone will want to read it, but hey, I am determine to be positive. You don't know til you try. Happy 2015 everyone.


  1. Up to 15,000 words now on my book. I have had to change my ideas of what the book is about and have decided to focus on the consequences of ordinary events in childhood that still traumatise. Here is the author of the book I was going to write: Bessel van der Kolk talking about the importance of trauma in society. It's short, it's very incisive, worth watching. If you ever wondered what trauma has to do with depression or the state of our world just give this a viewing

  2. Final revisions now- am trying to limit it to below 70,000 as this is the 120 page mark which when converted to a kindle format is about 200. I have been advised that this is the best length to have to not overwhelm your readers.. The main problem has not been what to include but what to leave out. There is so much I could have; the neurochemistry, the psychology, physiology of the stress response, treatment options, etc etc. It's been wonderful constructing it but I need to draw a line now so that I can get it published. What is missing will always be so - you can continually revise something and never finish so I have decided to focus on calling a halt and maybe what I haven't covered here can be another book..