i have had a routine week. i have done housework, sent off press kits and been out to the shops a couple of times. i have just ordered flowers for mother’s day, which is 10th March here in the UK. it’ s so hard to know what she would like at 80yrs. old, flowers keep it simple.
my washing machine has broken down and the repairman tells me the company that makes it has gone out of business so there are no spare parts to be had and i will have to buy a new one. i could do without that.
i have written a new page about my novel Dreams of Death but here i am going to say a bit about why i wanted to write it.
It first occurred to me that i wanted to be a writer when i was about seven years old. I gave up on the idea because i couldn’t find anyone who could tell me how you got a book published. When i was about nineteen years old i tried writing my autobiography but after two pages i was so bored by it i gave up. i didn’t really think about writing again until i was in my thirties.
I had a mental breakdown when i was thirty, for which i was hospitalized as an emergency, though as a voluntary not a sectioned patient. I then spent some years seeing psychiatrists as an outpatient. i also saw a couple of community psychiatric nurses. i attended a group and individual social therapy group run by the mental health unit, attended the mental health unit day hospital for a while and later attended a drop-in run by a voluntary mental health organisation. i did part time voluntary work with the local MIND association and with a mental health inpatient advocacy service.
I felt quite traumatised by my mental illness and was shocked by the mental health system. I wanted to say something about my own experiences and the experiences of the people i had met. I am not a confident speaker and knew i couldn’t campaign. Having done a short creative writing course i found that writing gave me a way of expressing myself publicly.
I also felt strongly that i wanted to put something in the public domain that was more realistic and a counter-balance to the ‘psycho on the loose’ type of material that was prevalent in the media and entertainment. I was inspired by Takin’ Over The Asylum, an award winning television drama serial written by Donna Franceschild. This serial proved that it was possible to show people with mental health problems in a way that was entertaining yet respectful. It also showed some of the negative realities of the mental health system.
I didn’t want to write a personal account because i hoped to raise awareness and insight amongst people who probably wouldn’t read a personal account so i decided to write a fictional story that i hoped would give voice to the views of myself and other people with mental health problems in an accessible and entertaining way.
Dreams of Death is available as a pdf download from http://chipmunkapublishing.co.uk/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=2318
all for now, i hope you all have a good week.