Bird Therapy began as a blog, through which I explored the therapeutic benefits of birdwatching for people experiencing difficulties with their mental health. Three years later, Bird Therapy has spread its wings and far beyond what I had even considered possible. I was asked to write some guest blogs and magazine articles; even recording three tweets of the day for Radio 4. People began to take interest in my writing and share their own experiences, which is when my fledgling idea left the nest and migrated to new climes. A friend suggested that I turn my blogs into a book, which I said would be foolish, as I’d just become obsessed with the idea; and so Bird Therapy started to formulate into a book.
The problem was that no publisher, niche or mainstream, or any agent, would take a gamble on the book. Reasons for rejections were varied, but generally said that my writing wasn’t good enough. So I went away and worked on it for a few years and after the first year, an editor at the crowdfunding publisher Unbound approached me. I had serious reservations about crowdfunding, due to my obsessive fragility, but I went for it and the book was well and truly funded – with some amazing patrons (including the legend that is Bill Bailey) and a foreword from Chris Packham.
I also speak about my story, experiences and writing – and although my talks can be dark, gritty and honest; they also share an inspiring and alternative way to find wellness. I’ve spoken at various venues such as: The Birdfair, Cambridge University, the BTO and Cley Marshes NWT. I also appeared on BBC Springwatch in January 2019, talking about Bird Therapy and mental health. I have some cool talks lined up for 2020.