An inspiring post about how self-publishing her novels has given British indie author Nelly Harper a new lease of life after contracting a chronic and debilitating illness.
Going indie has not only given me my my life back – It has also given me also my future.
One day a photo appeared on my Facebook feed – a picture of someone’s arm in a crutch with the statement ‘Difficulties in life don’t come to destroy you, but to help you realise your hidden potential.’ It stuck in my mind for days. My energetic life had come to a grinding halt almost a year before. A diagnosis of B12 deficiency followed by CFS/ME had left me in tatters.
I had been a very active person. Once I got ill, that all changed. My memory was shot, I had trouble following a conversation or even understanding what was going on around me. I could barely walk, and every part of my body hurt even down to my fingers. I was so exhausted I could barely leave my bed, some days I would even have to crawl to get to the bathroom. My doctors were so uninterested that I ended up suicidal and desperate to find a way to be able to live with my condition. It was only by taking matters into my own hands and self-medicating with B12 injections that I started to get any better, but it was clear I would not be returning to work again.
Discovering My Potential as a Writer
So I started to think what my hidden potential could be. It soon hit me, I had always wanted to write a novel, but had never found the time or commitment. Maybe now was the time? I began writing, and I loved it. Finally I had something I could do most days; I had my purpose back. After about four months, the first draft was finished, and I set about making my first lot of mistakes, sending my manuscript off to agents long before it was ready.
Life moves on, and eighteen months ago I found myself living alone with my son. I really needed the book to be published to supplement my income from wood carving. Although my doctors now accept that I self medicate, they do not agree with me, despite the fact I follow specialist advice from a medical charity. The fact I cannot get out of bed without injections does not change their view. One doctor has been so condescending with me he even went as far as to tell me I was being unrealistic writing, I would never become an author. I think he just expected me to sit around and do nothing but that is not me, I was determined to succeed.
How Self-publishing – and Joining ALLi – Empowered Me
Eventually I started to look seriously at self publishing. Joining ALLi really pushed things on. I started to see a career I could actually cope with. Not only that, I also found that I really enjoyed the challenge of learning how to edit and how the publishing world works. I have now set up Goblin House Publishing and released my debut novel, The Albion Chronicles book 1 – The Girl of Two Worlds and have nearly completed the first draft on another manuscript, The Jet Necklace. Once that moves to editing I can start on the second Albion book. Sure, cognitively and physically I still struggle, and it will take me some time to get accustomed to the marketing side of things, but I am in this for life, there is no rush.
I had intended to shut myself away and write, because facing the world when you feel this ill is hard. I now see that isn’t going to happen, I have a new hurdle: self-promotion! Hiding from the world is obviously not an option. It won’t be easy – nothing is with this condition – but I will manage it somehow. I am likely to end up in a wheelchair soon, that will be far harder than learning to read my own book in public.
I just hope that doctor buys my books one day and realises just how wrong he was.
OVER TO YOU
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