Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Author, Author!

Have I mentioned that I'm writing a book about my experiences with Lupus?

I'm finishing up the last two chapters now, and hope to submit it to a professional editing service by mid-June. A friend of a friend turned me onto www.onthewritepage.com, a comprehensive service that can help me with the finer details of getting my book ready to publish. I don't know yet if I'm going to self-publish, or if I'll take a stab at the traditional publishing house route. Either way, I'd like to get the book out within the next year.

My book, working title of "Despite Lupus", focuses on overcoming the physical & emotional challenges of living with a chronic illness. I'm living proof that you can have a fulfilling, accomplished, productive life and still work within the confines of a chronic illness like Lupus. It certainly wasn't a simple task to undertake. That's why I'm writing the book: to help others navigate their way through the difficulties of the disease so that they, too, can start living well with Lupus.

In the book, I've included all the advice, wisdom, and experience that I wish I’d had during my greatest struggles with Lupus. A few of the highlights: tips on tackling the intricacies of the mental and physical limitations brought on by the disease; insight on dealing with your doctors, co-workers, and concerned friends and family members; and tricks to managing your test results, prescriptions, and myriad symptoms. I’ve pulled from valuable discussions at my monthly Lupus support group meetings, inspirational and thought-provoking books and magazines, and my own colorful experience in order to present a comprehensive and enlightening take on successfully managing life with Lupus.

Much of the information on my blog is taken directly from my book; the topics I touch on here are discussed in even greater detail there. If you like what you've read so far, just wait for the completed manuscript!

Here's an excerpt to whet your appetite:

I wish I could say that I woke up one morning, realized that I was being robbed of everything that was important to me, and made an immediate change for the better. I wish it had been that easy. Unfortunately, I can’t even tell you the exact moment when I wised up, but I can tell you why. I realized I had a choice to make, a make it or break it decision, one that was a matter of life and death. Should I continue killing myself in an effort to keep my life "on track", or shed the pride, egotism, and stubbornness compelling me to do so in order to regain a life worth living? Somehow, from beyond the sea of despair I’d fallen into, I began to see that the latter had some very enticing benefits. I went further, asking myself the following:

Was I strong enough to relinquish the power I was frantically trying to hold on to?
Was I capable of valuing myself more than I value what I do or what I can accomplish?
Was I willing to reevaluate my life in order to start the process of healing and understanding?
Do I value myself enough to try and accomplish any of the above?

The answer to all of those questions was and still is a resounding YES. Of course I’m worth it, and so are you.

'The question is not whether we will die but how we will live.'

Making the choice to live well with Lupus is a major undertaking, and I don’t assume it can be made overnight. I do know that it's possible. I have very few regrets in life, but it pains me to reflect on the time I spent selfishly and ignorantly battling Lupus. You don't have to spend one more moment making the same mistakes I did. You can learn from my experience and start living well with Lupus today.

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