Blogoff: My Daughter – My inspiration
Firstly I am a mental health nurse by profession. Writing was something I had never even thought about. Well I did have something published in a Psychodynamic journal when I was in my twenties.
It felt great to know someone thought that what I wrote was good enough to publish and allow others to read it.
I perceived everyone else to be academically better than me at school, and I suppose that is something I have struggled with throughout my life.
My youngest daughter, who is now nineteen, became unwell physically and emotionally around the age of thirteen. I struggled to keep up with my work, as I was often called out of work either by the school or my daughter.
Things got considerably worse. Apart from having various physical health problems which caused concern, she went on to develop school phobia, having major panic attacks, general anxiety and depression.
Cutting a long story short I ended up having to leave my job of thirty years with anxiety and depression myself.
Apart from my role as a mum, I ended up being my daughter’s therapist and teacher as professionals and services let her down.
Throughout this time I wrote a journal which has been shelved ready for print. It is still too raw for my daughter to have our story paraded in public.
Writing the journal helped me make sense of what was happening and the struggles we had individually and as a family.
I hope that one day I can get it published as I think it will help others who have and are struggling with similar issues.
Years later and when my daughter left school and had time to recover she eventually began to feel somewhat better.
Then out of the blue she had a breakdown. This was so distressing for her and all the family. She began to create a blog for herself which she initially started to help her therapeutically, but now she is feeling well, is alot more than that, and she continues to develop it on a daily basis.
This is when I had the idea to write a children’s story about a girl called Hollie and her cat Figgs, for the early reader around 5-8 years old. The idea was for me to write a story and my daughter to illustrate it. She is good at art and I thought that something simple and youthful would be appealing to young readers.
I used to make stories up for my children at bedtime when they were young and have always read stories to them. So this felt like a good idea for us both to do something out our comfort zone, but fun. In the hope that it helps my daughters self belief and confidence, which she has lacked considerably over the years.
The story is based on my daughter and her cat, who became extremely important to her throughout the time she was not well.
I thought that it would be a good idea if the cat Figgs was magical and can take Hollie on adventures for reasons that are in the story. Without giving too much away.
The story is about friendship and involves some contrast of emotion and environment. I hope that it provokes children to think about their life and friendships.
The idea is that it contains positive affirming messages.
My daughter completed the illustrations, but I had a friend who is a great concept artist tweak them in order that they were just what we wanted for publication.
We cannot afford to pay the publishers to market and advertise the story so plan on doing this ourselves. I hope my daughter will come along with me to various events, book stores etc so that she can build on her confidence even more.
This is completely new to me, but I am embracing the challenge and am determined to make it work.
I have even sent off for a plush cat Figgs to be made so we can use it for marketing purposes. This is exciting and I can’t wait to see the final product. Figgs come to life
After several years of uncertainty about our future, this new venture I hope will bring new life and positive experiences in our home.
The story Hollie and Figgs is at the publishers as I am writing this. I have also written the sequel as I hope to continue with the stories and develop the characters as I think whoever reads the story will fall in love with them.
I plan on getting the next story out by Christmas 2016.
Thank you for reading my blog story.