Being my final half-term before fatherhood, I’ve been keen this week, to get as much of the book manuscript finalised as possible. Editing your own words is hard enough as it is, editing when you have OCD is hell.
Type. Delete. Type. Repeat… for hours and hours. Get angry. Stop writing. Freak out. Go for a walk. Give up.
Whenever people ask me how close I am to finishing the book, I tell them the truth, that I’m writing the final chapter. What this doesn’t account for is the amount of time I spend trying to battle my anxiety about it’s quality. It’s been really tough to stop re-editing chapters over and over again, but thankfully, positive feedback on the opening chapter has helped to soothe this process for me.
I also made a decision this week – that I’m going to design and produce a secondary PSHE teaching resource to work alongside the book. I try to avoid cross-pollinating my job and Bird Therapy, but sometimes it needs to be done – like with this. Any one who has heard me talk, will know of the Kingfisher analogy – a time when the two have married up in such a beautifully profound way. The response on social media has been great and I look forward to working with those who have contacted me.
The book is one thing, but if it can have a legacy that can follow it, then even better. I know that what I write about – both mental health AND bird-watching, can engage young people, I’ve seen it in my own work. If my story can inspire and support just one young person to recognise any issues they may have and seek help – then I’ve achieved the very pinnacle of what I set out to do.
Recently, I’ve started to receive messages from people who have been inspired, helped and touched by what I write about. As I move closer to being a parent for the first time, my life has been wobbling and balancing out into perspective – like a spiritual spirit level. I’ve written about my battle with social media, narcissism and ego at length and realising that Bird Therapy and it’s impact reaches far beyond me and my microcosm, has affirmed what it’s all about. It’s been a profound epiphany and milestone in what Bird Therapy is and can be in the future and has made me feel so relaxed and empowered – it’s awesome.
Finally, I’d like to extend a special thanks to the BTO, who invited me to speak to their staff team yesterday, in a lunchtime seminar. They made me feel so welcome and were a fantastic audience – receptive and engaged. Thanks for having me and listening to the Bird Therapy story!