Monthly Archives: October 2014

Self Promotion Without Going Too Far!

OK, so I’ve written a book, a book I think is a good one. A book others have told me they found inspirational. Not only did I write the book, but I self published the book, and I am now faced with the task of promoting and selling the book.

That book is the one I created this blog to help to promote the book. “Mick, Jane and Me – Living Well With MS” is that book. It’s a memoir I felt I had to write to fill a gap in publishing. When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), I looked for a book that would tell me what it was actually like to have this disease. I couldn’t find the book I needed to have, so I wrote this book, the book I wanted and needed.

I received assistance to produce this book – I was awarded a MS Choice prize, which involved the MS Society SA & NT’s publisher Centreprint printing my first print run. I sold all of those books, and had enough money to donate $2 from each book to the Society. There was also enough money for left for me to pay for another print run. So far, I’ve almost made enough money to make another donation to the MS Society SA & NT for the second print run.

Now, I’m a ¬†self-publisher, which means it’s also my role to be a self-promoter. This self promotion doesn’t come naturally to me, and I’m sure many other people would say the same. If you have a book published by a trade publisher, they are responsible for most of the book promotion. When you self-promote though, it’s all up to you.

I carry a copy of each of my self-published books with me when I go out. If I have my handbag, I have my books. If I’m in my car, I have my books. I still find it a little embarrassing though, when I go through the process of selling a copy of my book. I’m not embarrassed about the book, I’m proud of myself for writing it and publishing it. I consider it to be a fine book.

I know though, that if I want to find homes for these copies, I have to tell people about the book, so when the opportunity comes up, I’ll talk to people about the book, and sign a copy for them, if they want one. I sold a copy today in fact, and had to say ‘No’ to the person who wanted to pay me too much for their copy. I’ve sold copies for varying amounts, and given some away for free.

I can honestly say I’ve never pushed anyone to buy a book, and I know I have no need to be embarrassed about being a writer. I’m still a little shy about the whole thing though. I hope I help other people to learn more about MS, through reading this memoir. I believe that is the case, and I hope I can soon get over the stupid embarrassment I feel. A good book is worthy of an honest price.

MS and Stress, the Terrible Combo!

If you stress about having MS, you can make your MS worse – isn’t that a cruel thing? But if you have MS, you quite likely have many issues and problems that go with trying to live with the symptoms of this chronic illness. So, if you check the internet, and other references, you will see there is a very strong link between this combo.

When something like MS enters your life, you can see it as something that is going to wreck your life, and fight angrily against it. Or you can give in and bow to the inevitable problems you see will affect you. Either way, you will still have MS, and you will make choices in life – medication, treatments and so on that you certainly hope will have a good impact on the illness.

Stress is a multi-faceted thing, and even good experiences can be seen as stressful by the body. The build up to an important but good thing is still stressful for your body. This, in terms of MS, can lead to your symptoms from MS getting worse. This was shown to me back in the first year of my diagnosis. It was the day for the launch of my first poetry collection. There were many people there, family, friends and interested others. Things were going well, the book was launched and books were being bought and I was signing them for their new owners.

A great day, and surely not a reason for my body to pack up with things all going well, you might have thought. My body thought differently. By the end of the day, I was leaning heavily on my walking stick, my husband and anything else there to be leaned on. My walking was as bad as when I’d have my initial collapse, but I was smiling and proudly happy. In my head I was happy, but my body read that level of happiness and excitement as stress, and it was behaving that way. To the body, stress is stress, whether happy stress or sad/bad stress.

I’ve been working at removing stress from my life. Things happen, and I accept them happening, or change them for better things if I can. I aim to continue breathing calm and slow, and I take time out to do nothing much at all, as often as I can. I’m not a religious person, but I have a strong reverence for the works of Nature. I have Nature meditations, where I just go outside and be at peace with Nature. The clouds and the birds, the trees and other plants and all of the creatures, we are all there, just there and doing what we are doing. No further thought needed. We are all being there, in the present moment, doing what we are doing …

I am slowly learning to live in the moment, and I feel so much better for doing that. Things happen, and I can accept them happening … Good things, bad things, while there is life, things will happen. If I feel I want them to happen in a different way, and I have the power to change them, then I do what I need to do for that to happen. If they are beyond me and I can’t change them, I try to just accept them. It’s still a work in progress, life is not perfect, but for me, life is pretty darned good!

I think it would be a good thing if people with MS were prescribed stress-reduction sessions, instead of or in conjunction with medications. That is my idea of proper help …above the fish pond

It’s Just a Cold

I currently feel like ‘Death Warmed Up’. That metaphorical description certainly applied to me this morning when I woke up. My head ached, my stomach muscles ached and I wouldn’t have minded dying. Having a cold is never a pleasant thing, and I’m glad I rarely get them. But golly gee, I sure have one now!

My husband and son have been suffering from a cold and cough for a few days, but I was glad not to have succumbed to their cold germs. That all changed yesterday though. I began to cough too, an annoying ticking coughing that went well into the night, the night before last.

We have all been getting stuck into cough medicine, and the menfolk seemed to be getting a little better. I hoped I would soon be heading toward ‘betterness’ too. But this morning I felt a million miles away from feeling better. I felt like an aching death had invaded my body. My coughing obviously uses muscles rarely used, and they were aching in protest.

I don’t know how long my body will take to get better. Usually a cold takes a week to get over, and I’m only two days into my cold so far. I’m at the coughing and prickly nose stage with associated head and body aches. It’s not a fun stage to be at. At the moment, I think the panadol I’ve taken is working on the aches, and it feels like living has become a very real possibility, something to look forward to.

I’m conscious of the fact that it may take me longer than a week to get over my cold though. Having MS, and being on a medication that negatively affects my immune system can slow down the healing process. I have a positive attitude to life though, and I keep healthy, apart from having multiple sclerosis.

So it’s just a cold I have, the common cold, which hasn’t been so common for me, and I’m glad about that. I will keep on taking couch medicine and panadol as needed, and keeping up my intake of fluids. The sun is shining beautifully outside, and I’m planning on going out there to get some natural Vitamin D on my skin, as well as the Vitamin D I had from a tablet earlier today.

Yes, water and sunshine is my plan to get over this nasty cold.