Creative Writing for Wellbeing – new book!

If you follow me on social media, you may already know that I have a new book coming out. I wrote it and got it ready for publishing in 10 days!

Most books don’t take 10 days to produce, and if I had more time, then this would all look quite a bit different, including the book itself. Let’s rewind a little bit, back to the beginning.

For a while, I haven’t been sure what I want to do with my life. I knew I loved the writers groups that I did along with writing stories. I also knew that I don’t like to teach a ‘how to write’ type workshop, that’s not what I’m about.

Last year, I was invited to present at Boisedale Consolidated School for their Wellbeing Day. After a day talking about the mental health and wellbeing benefits of creative writing and reading it hit me. This is what I want to do, and what I have already been doing!

Through the writing groups and other conversations I have, as well as what I have done naturally most of my life, what I’m passionate about is inspiring people to use creative writing and reading as part of their mental health toolbox, as part of their wellbeing! Since then, I’ve been trying to work out how to do this. Is it more workshops, is it speaking, is it something else I haven’t thought of yet?

While working all this out, I heard about the Wellness Expo Gippsland. In a fit of madness, I signed up! The expo is 23-24 March, and, other than my books, I wasn’t sure what I was going to offer, but I figured I’d work it out.

Earlier this year, I had the idea of writing a book for teens and got some books out of the library to see what others were writing, and I started a couple of books, however neither got very far.

Then, on Saturday 17 February, I had coffee with a good friend. I spoke to her about the expo and my goals for sharing information about writing for wellbeing. She said I should write a book, and offered to do a plan for me based on what we had spoken about. The next day, she was true to her word and sent me through a plan!

This got everything started. I knew that, if I was going to have any chance of having a book ready for the expo, I would have to get writing, and that’s what I did!

I started with picking random chapters to write. Most of it was my own story and how I used creative writing in various situations. As each chapter was written, I kept my friend up to date with my progress, as well as posting on social media. Making it public helped keep me going, and, I hoped, would start a buzz.

Once I had written those chapters, which took me from Sunday to Tuesday, on Wednesday I started rewriting and compiling them all into a single manuscript. All that was missing was the last chapter as I wasn’t quite sure what that should contain. I sent the manuscript to my friend who edited it and gave me a plan for the last chapter. I went through the edits, wrote the last chapter and sent it back to her for a final check.

In the mean time, we were playing in Canva with a few different cover designs. I ended up opting for something fairly simple with a photograph and the title. If we had more time, I may have engaged someone to design a cover for me.

Earlier this week, I had made all the edits and then did a basic layout for the internal pages. I already had a template from some of my other books that I modified, and uploaded all the files to Ingram Spark.

I also had to choose a title. This can be the hardest part sometimes. I have called it Creative Writing for Wellbeing.

The process to this point had been 10 days!!

This morning, the files were all approved by Ingram Spark and I ordered my first copy. I can’t wait to have it in my hands.

I should also add that I was still working in my day job and I went to Melbourne to run a writers’ group in Mount Waverley, and did two markets last weekend while all this was going on with the book!

Was I insane doing this? Absolutely!

Would I recommend others do this? Not at all.

Would I do it again? It’s quite possible, still insane, though!

If you’re in Australia, you can pre-order a copy through Trybooking. There are options to pick it up at the expo or from other activities, along with postage. Any books will be sent once I have them, though most likely at the end of March. Click here to get your copy.

In many ways, this book is the start of my journey to spread the word about how amazing creative writing is for your wellbeing.

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About Melissa

Melissa Gijsbers started writing when she was in High School during the 1990s, even winning some awards for a short story and a script. For many years, life got in the way of creative writing, however she did start blogging around 2006.

She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia with her two sons and a pet blue tongue lizard.

Melissa Gijsbers, Author, Speaker & Booklover
Melissa Gijsbers - Author, Speaker & Booklover
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