For many, writing and self-publishing helps us heal. They act as a catharsis, a way of channeling out the pain we're feeling. Never truer than for Kim Macleod, who lost a child. Kim's here to talk about how writing helped her family recover from loss.
My husband Sinclair had always written stories, but he had never finished a book. About a year after Calum died, he realised that life was too short not to follow his passion for writing crime fiction and so “The Reluctant Detective” was born. With no interest from publishers this book could easily have been left on the shelf, but as it was dedicated to Calum it needed to make its way in the world. So, in 2010 our self-publishing journey began. Little did we know how this book would change our lives.
Self-publishing made it possible.
I was so proud of Sinclair that I told everyone I met about his book. This led to other writers asking if we could help them to publish their books. The meetings in cafes developed into training courses, with an enthusiastic local meetup community and then evolved into our accidental publishing business – Indie Authors World helping writers all over the world achieve their dreams.
How Healing Helps Writing
Sinclair continues to write tartan noir – he now has eight books in two series and around 150,000 sales. I was encouraged to write my story of how we had survived this devastating loss. “From Heartbreak to Happiness” was a cathartic book that allowed me to share my experiences and positive mindset tools, thank the people whose acts of kindness had helped to bring some light back into the darkness of our lives and share hope that life could be better. Each book connected us with our son and encouraged others to follow their dreams.
Writing can help express feelings to ease grief and loss. Writing can also help channel your energy into something more positive so be encouraged to give it a go.
Fundraising and Creating Calum’s Legacy
Calum has been a constant source of inspiration for us, we have raised awareness of this awful disease and generated funds for the Meningitis Now charity through a huge variety of fundraising activities over the years. For Sinclair’s third book “The Killer Performer” a crime thriller about the music scene, we had a huge fundraising music night where Jon Fratelli of the Scottish band The Fratellis played. It was amazing with over 120 people attending we sold lots of books and raised cash for the charity. Creating a publishing prize for what would have been Calum’s twenty-first birthday brought fundraising into our business and ensured our happy winner KT Finegan had her book “The Thirteen Stones” published for free.
Many of our authors have also looked at how they could make an impact and help a charity through their books either donating some of their profits or organising book events alongside their chosen cause. It can be a fantastic way to grow your audience while helping a cause close to your heart.
Ripples in the Pond of Life
Sinclair and I have had a dream of creating something bigger in Calum’s memory. Something that would have a lasting impact. Something that reflected who Calum was in life. And now we are excited to share “Calum’s Legacy”. Our creative youth enterprise project will provide opportunities for twelve young people, between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five, to find their voice, develop their creativity into stories and learn everything there is to know about self-publishing, marketing and selling a book.
We are hoping to bring together a diverse group of people to learn, have fun, develop confidence and belief in what is possible. Each young person will have a short story in the final book to be published. We will also create the covers, typeset and design the look of the book. They are going to learn the business side of being an indie author to plan marketing and selling activities. I will be sharing my tips for de-stressing and improving wellbeing too, so this is a holistic project. Finally, we are recruiting author mentors to offer support and funding the whole project from our business.
Calum was such a central figure in his friends lives with a range of interests – music, gaming, films, books and a great playful imagination. But most of all he loved to be surrounded by people – he had a knack for including the people at the edges of a group, he brought friends together, laughed and had fun. He was exceptionally kind-hearted and wise beyond his years. Many of his friends’ parents told me after his death that their son/daughter had never been included socially before. His wonderful friends never forgot Calum and keep in touch with us now.
This is the memory we are honouring with Calum’s Legacy. We are so excited about the possibilities ahead. I am loving the chance to talk more about our wonderful son and delighted that we have now brought him into the heart of our work. The ripples of his energy will go far with this project. And we're thankful that our writing helps us heal.
Can you help us spread hope, inspiration and kindness with Calum’s Legacy?
We need help to find our twelve young people. If you know anyone that lives in the Greater Glasgow/East Dunbartonshire area in Scotland that could benefit from being part of this creative project, please encourage them to apply at:
Applications close on 30th June 2019.
If you think you could help us with mentoring or can support us in other ways, we would love to hear from you, too.
With love and kindest wishes
Author, speaker, coach and director at Indie Authors World.
OVER TO YOU
How has writing helped you to heal?
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