Monday, 15 October 2018

Me, anxiety and roads

There is a new anxiety I am having now - I can't cross roads on my own, which means that I can't get out on my own as I have to cross roads. I think it has to do with balance. When I went to see my GP a couple of weeks ago, I felt v anxious and my head was all over the place, and so was my body. I ended up having an anxiety attack in the middle of an island in a side road. I felt so off balance that I was going to fall. No one was around to help me and I had to cope on my own. I only managed to get to the clinic because other people did come to cross the main road, so I walked with them. I felt safer doing that. I can get home on my own locally because the buses I get on, both stop just round the corner to my road, so all I have to do is get off, and walk a few minutes round the corner.

This is so frustrating for me as I had been going out on my own a lot up until a couple of weeks ago. I had to because my mum, who walks with a stick, isn't that confident about shopping either. Maybe there was something there hidden in my brain that was anxiety, and something has triggered it all of ten-fold (it feels like hundred fold), telling me that I can't cope with doing that alone anymore and need help. It is hard for me and my mum because she now has to come with me if I need to go somewhere, even across the road to get the paper. I did try the other week, but got to the end of the road to where I usually cross to the garage, and froze, starting another anxiety attack. It is going to be a long, slow journey to get better, I believe. I want to get better.

This is now going to be a diary, which I might publish next year after I am better, journalling how I feel about situations.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Me, Anxiety and Heights

Following my last post, things have been happening; good and bad. The good is that I am now on another tablet for my blood pressure which has calmed me down a bit when I'm indoors. The bad is that my anxiety turned into both anxiety and panic attacks, which were the heart palpitations, shaking, dizziness. I still get anxious about coming downstairs, but have now found a way to cope with it in the morning. I breathe deeply, do a mindful exercise (tense and relax arms, hands, shoulders and head), tell myself to look to the floor, go slow and go. That way does work. I have managed to come downstairs at the first attempt using that method, inc this morning. But the anxiety raises my blood pressure. I haven't gone up and downstairs during the day or evening yet, although I do go and have a nap in the afternoon, when I am all right. I think it is because I am in my bedroom for all that time and not going back and forwards across the upstairs landing which looks down onto the stairs, which I do in the morning. I get changed for bed etc down in our utility room, which does have heating in. It's smaller than the bathroom but will do for now. I thought that it was just the stairs at home that affected me, but when I went into a Boots yesterday and they had a few stairs going down, I froze then, too.

I am going to take it a step at a time, knowing it will be a long term thing until I am better. I am going to my GP on Thursday to ask to get counselling about this, esp now that my anxiety has affected another part of my life - going out on my own, esp crossing the road. We shall see what happens. My next post will be about anxiety going out and what I plan to do about that.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Me and my anxiety

Do you remember last year, shortly after my mum fell downstairs, that I mentioned I got anxious about going downstairs? Well, it's come back again, and a bit worse. I think it started on a Sunday when I had already been upstairs cleaning, gone downstairs for a while then went upstairs to help my mum with something. I got my bag with me and put some things in to take down but it was too bulky and as I went downstairs, it banged against the wall and made me nervous about falling. That was it. I went upstairs again and took a few goes to come down again.

On a couple of times it has taken me half an hour to get the courage to come down, after a lot of tears. It took me two goes this morning. There are other things going on that could be contributing to his anxiety of mine. I am on additional tablets for my blood pressure that has an 'uncommon' side effect of anxiety and nervousness, and I am very nervous about watching my mum in the garden as she has lost her balance a few times this year. Thankfully, no injuries, just scratches. She now uses the big fork to walk with as a stick and something to balance with as she digs and hoes the weeds.

I also hate escalators and steep slopes. I avoid the former if I can find another way to where I have to go. I encountered a steep climb this morning and my mum had to force me to walk up a bit to get across the road to where we wanted to go, which happened to be closed.

I have found that I'm not the only one who hates stairs and these high things. I posted about this on a FB group and got a lot of comments.

I hope that it doesn't last too long. I am currently having to get changed for bed and brush my teeth downstairs in the utility room, with the heating on.

Monday, 3 September 2018

Do I believe in angels or the afterlife?

Do I believe in ghosts and/or the afterlife? I don't know, to be honest. I would have said no before, but there must be something inside me that does sort of belief in some thing because I have written YA ebooks about teenage guardian angel (The Guardian Angels series), the Geraldine's Gems series about a lady who returns to help her living relatives and there are ghosts that appear in the Singleton series. And now there is this new series of short stories about ghosts helping families in crisis. 'The Family Helpers' due to be out soon. So, I will leave you to work that one out.

I have also written and had published a short story in the magazine Spirit & Destiny about a robin who is clumsy and could be an animal protector. I had read the magazine for a while to see what they like to publish and what their readers are interested in. It is all about angels, afterlife and crystals etc.

So, maybe there is an inkling of the idea that I do believe in some way of angels and the afterlife. 

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Discoverability - Publishing in different formats

Today is about getting discovered. One way is to publish your book in different formats. What do I mean? There are 3 that I know about: audiobook, paperbook and ebook.

For those of you who write for children, paperbook is probably the only version to do, esp if you write for younger readers eg under 9 year-olds. I currently write for 7-9s and will only publish in print for that age range, especially that I have discovered children of that age do like paper books more. When I come to write the next series, which will be for 9-12s, I might do an ebook version, too. Children of that age do have Kindles as I have been told by one mother who wanted a book for her daughter who was ten. My previous children's books are only available in ebooks for now, but I plan to start putting them back into print this year.

For those of you who write for adults, all three choices are good options, esp ebook and print. There is also audio. I won't be doing this as I don't make enough money on my adult ebooks to warrant this.

I believe the more formats you have out there, the more readers you can reach. I do like to have print copies of my books to hand, esp if I go to a meeting or a library where I can meet people and show them my book. I might sell a copy or two.

So, if you write for older children, think about publishing your book in print and digital. If you write for adults, think about publishing your book in all three formats.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

More changes in Womagland

That is the land of women's magazines, esp fiction. Authors who write fiction for womags, esp Woman's Weekly, are up in arms at the moment because of recent changes that have been found out. They weren't happy before because their payment date was changed to when their story was published and not on acceptance like it used to be. Now they are even more unhappy as there are two more changes now that the company who owns the magazine has been taken over. The following changes are:

1. Stories accepted, whether by new or established authors, will have acceptances on an 'all rights' basis. This is not good at all. All rights means that they take all your rights away from you so you are no longer the copyright holder of the story, and you can't do anything else with that story yourself, inc submitting it to the ALCS. It also means the magazine can do what they like with it and maybe not pay you for it. Wrong on all accounts.

2. New authors who get their story accepted also have a pay cut. It used to be £150 but it's now £100, and possibly no chance to have a raise with more stories published.

So, if you do want to have a story accepted by Woman's Weekly, please think again. If you're not sure about the contract that comes with it, you could try to get it changed but it might not work. The only option is to refuse to sign and find another market for that story. or self-publish it.

The best blog to read about all this and more on writing for womags is Even the author who runs this blog says she would refuse to sign the contract on the all rights basis now.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Support your local library

I had a book launch at my local community library on Saturday, and it was brilliant. The librarians are very friendly and helpful, esp the main librarian called Sue. This is why I want authors and readers to support their own local libraries, esp community ones. I have been doing events and taking part in the library's own events such as fayres over the last 5 years. They have been understanding and supportive of me and my Asperger's, and are always helping me and praising me to their customers. So, if you are an author, please think about doing events at your local library, even more if it is a community led one like mine. There are a few others libraries in my borough, but none of them have been interested in me having events there. It has just been the community led one, who support me as an indie author. I thank them each time for having me. But I made a bigger thank you to them, esp Sue, by mentioning them in the acknowledgement pages in the back of Susie and the Jiggling Jumper (available on Amazon).

So, go and find your local library and ask if you can do events there from time to time. You will be bringing in more readers to them as well as yourself. A win-win, I believe.