Being an author – and giving something back
I had the idea for writing a book about my passion of eclipse chasing for many years. Many of my family and friends nagged me about it, saying that I should write about my eclipse chasing adventures. The idea was always there, in the back of my mind. But I always had doubts, or felt it wasn’t something I could do as I didn’t have the time. I just didn’t really prioritise the idea of writing a book.
This changed in September 2010, when I attended a one day writers workshop run by a local author. That was the day that I really took thinking about ‘the book’ seriously. I was able to spend time thinking about what it would look like, why I would write, and what I would get out of it. I learned so much by actually verbalising my thoughts about my idea. I also found listening to others who were in a similar situation very inspiring. My mind went into overdrive with ideas, and by the end of the day I bounded home from the workshop, feeling full of inspiration and energy, with a clear sense of how the book should be put together. From that moment on, it all flowed freely and it was like I was ‘driven’ to write.
Three months later, I had a book contract with a major publishing company to write my first book. And a year after that, I submitted my first book – I had become an author. I am now currently writing my second book, and I feel extremely motivated to continue writing for a long time. It is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.
I have published as an academic; I have written three different theses for my honors, masters and doctoral degrees. But there is something very special about having written and published a book about something you are passionate about. I still feel like I should pinch myself sometimes. For me, attending a writers workshop was the key that got the whole process started.
I really enjoy helping others begin this journey for themselves. I run workshops all the time in my day job as a Clinical Psychologist. I teach doctoral level students. I supervise research. I write academic papers. I run small classes. I coordinate a research discussion group. I also teach motivational interviewing to medical professionals, and those living with chronic illness. I teach communication skills. I help people change their lives for the better. I encourage people to live authentic lives. Workshops are what I do. I believe I have quite a unique set of skills to offer to first time writers. So, I aim to run workshops on a semi-regular basis wherever I am in order to inspire others to follow their passion and start writing. See Events for more details. It just feels like a great way of giving something back.