The Road after Publication

 

Born Together was published in May this year. A wonderful journey has started a new chapter. From the cosy wintry days writing at my kitchen table to the frenetic deadlines of proof reading with the publishing company- I have relished it all and grown hugely as a person and as a person of positivity.
Publication and my book launch surpassed all expectations- the reality was far greater than the dream ever dared to be. The follow up and feedback from the readers of Born Together has created a new dream- or should I say plan. Readers have found Born Together to be ‘inspirational’ ‘uplifting’ ‘the true definition of hope’ ‘incredibly positive’ ‘unforgettable book’ ‘highly recommended’ ‘bloody brilliant’ and written by an ‘inspiring and motivational author’. It has brought me newspaper articles, magazine stories, live radio interviews and even a live television appearance! I will now take Born Together forward to share it far and wide.
In the right place at the right time I have now become a radio show host at msandme radio- a newly launched global internet station. So, from someone with public speaking issues and low confidence after the blow of an MS diagnosis, I certainly have come a long way.
A journey that started from something so negative and heart-breaking has taking me to a place of positivity and achievement. A place where I am still juggling the many curve balls that life tends to throw, but a place where I am strong, determined and above all happy with who I am again. So, it really is true. It is not what happens to you in this life that will define you, but it is how you get up and deal with it that will determine your future. My book Born Together shares all that I did and all that I learned along the way. Positivity, for me, will always win over negativity and we really can findaway.com if we just keep on searching and never give up.
I have faced very challenging times throughout this journey and none more so than recently. I grow every day and I learn every day. I read only days ago about being unstoppable- not because life doesn’t bring challenges, failures and hard times- but because you just continue on through them. That is the perfect description of me.
I am looking forward now to the next chapter of my life. It will be about what I can do and achieve. About finding the positivity around me and being grateful for what I have got. About letting go and walking away from anything negative around me and living in the moment with who I am now and what I can do now. And keeping on writing of course…

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The Road after Publication

Being ‘Differently’ Abled

Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis over eleven years ago now, after my immune system attacked itself in error, following the birth of my wonderful baby boy. I have learned to adapt, adapt and then adapt some more. Life did not go as planned and I have had to realign my whole way of thinking.

There have been many changes since my diagnosis, but the biggest and most visible change of all is my walking. A passer-by may see me and think of me as a ‘disabled’ person. But I am most certainly not. I am ‘differently’ abled, but able nonetheless. I am a very active, busy mum. I am a writer and exercise daily. I cook, I clean(sometimes), I dance(only in my room), I socialise, I travel, I read and so much more. I do all these things differently and the world would be a better place if we all began to think this way.

The one big thing where there has been absolutely no change is my ability to think and to learn. I am still the same me inside. I have the same dreams and aspirations. None of that has changed. The most hurtful thing in this entire journey was not getting Multiple Sclerosis. It was the fact that colleagues, some friends and strangers alike began to stop seeing me as their equal. They began to retreat and separate themselves from my new world. They no longer wanted to stand side by side with the ‘disabled’ person. It was going to challenge them too much. Ask too much of them to alter their ways to include me. It may have hurt me somewhat, but it made me determined to prove that you can still achieve great things and live a full and enriched life, despite being ‘differently’ abled.

I decided to take myself away from the negativity and rejection I was experiencing. I decided to rebuild my life as a ‘differently’ abled person. To become an author and motivational writer. To raise my son in a world of positivity where it is not what happens to you that defines your life, but how you get up and deal with it. I work every day to achieve and my learning never stops. I have opened up a whole new world since my diagnosis. I write, meditate, practise yoga and ‘earth’ on the rugged Scottish beaches to name but a few things I do now. These are all post MS additions to my life, never forgetting the joy of being a mum to the wonderful Elliot. I ask each and every person to look inside themselves and question if it really matters how someone looks or presents? Do we really need to label them? And for whose benefit is that label? Can’t we just accept them as who they are and focus on what they can do? ‘Disability’ conjures up so much negativity for me and I’ve always thought of disabling something as stopping it working. Rest assured I still ‘work’ very well. Just very ‘differently.’ I have to find new ways to do old things, adapt and shift my perspective. But I am ‘able’ to live a full and active life this way. We can all start by shifting our perspective and seeing what someone can do first and not the ‘disability’. Celebrate difference and we could all look forward to a better and more positive  future together.

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Being ‘Differently’ Abled

Final few days…

A4Almost four years ago now, I spontaneously picked up the ipad and started writing my thoughts, feelings. fears and hopes. I didn’t know then what I know now. I didn’t know me the way I do now. I didn’t know that I’d be sending my debut book to print after 44 months of writing and editing almost every single day.

It’s been a very different, busy, and amazing journey. I had no idea my kitchen would end up full of boxes, manuscripts and notes! I have learned a lot and I have loved every minute. The final, final , final checks are taking place now and within days I will hand over what has most definitely become a part of me: Born Together.

I hope you enjoy it when it comes, just as I have enjoyed, writing, learning and sharing. The future is bright and we can all push through and findaway, no matter our adversity. Never give up. Never give in. Never stop.

Final few days…

One more step…

 

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As I go on my journey now it all feels very real. Leicester tomorrow. Publishing meeting the next day. Self-publishing is the path I’ve chosen. My heart beats a little faster than it should. My mouth a little drier than is comfortable. It is only days after the ten-year anniversary of my diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Ten years as a stay-at-home mum. Ten years of raising Elliot and managing MS simultaneously. Ten years not teaching and working.

Nearly four of those years were spent at my kitchen table. Elliot’s laptop first. Then Allan’s Surface. Finally rising to the status of owning my own laptop as a writer in the latter months (Allan insisted!). Day in, day out. Week after week. Month into month. One year moved in to the next. Almost four years later I have a book ready to go to print. I am overwhelmed and anxious to move from the safety and security of my kitchen, back in to the outside world again after all this time. You see, it all started with me putting down a few lines to express myself and record my journey, to try in some way to make sense of everything that had happened. Writing was very kind to me, following the aggression and volatility of Multiple Sclerosis. I was safe once more in the surrounds of my home. I sat at my kitchen table, kettle nearby, healthy snacks galore with the central heating switch never far away! I got lost in my writing every time within seconds. It became my great, big, comfortable escape from the angry world that is MS.

But now that’s all changing. It’s getting nearer and nearer to publication. The demands on me are just beginning as my stomach clenches and I tell myself loud and clear that I must step up to the mark now. I never really planned this far ahead. But it’s here now and I don’t think the rest of the book world will afford me the comfort and security of my kitchen writing days. I have often said ‘onwards and upwards’, but it’s meaning feels much more literal and it’s task much more demanding of the ‘kitchen table girl’. I must not flinch, but stand firm in my belief that little old me with my wobbly legs and unruly balance can stand side by side with the best and the rest of the world.

I’ll return to my laptop, my kitchen and my writing one day soon. But first I have a job to do.

As I go on my journey now it all feels very real. Leicester tomorrow. Publishing meeting the next day. Self-publishing is the path I’ve chosen. My heart beats a little faster than it should. My mouth a little drier than is comfortable. It is only days after the ten-year anniversary of my diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Ten years as a stay-at-home mum. Ten years of raising Elliot and managing MS simultaneously. Ten years not teaching and working.

Nearly four of those years were spent at my kitchen table. Elliot’s laptop first. Then Allan’s Surface. Finally rising to the status of owning my own laptop as a writer in the latter months (Allan insisted!). Day in, day out. Week after week. Month into month. One year moved in to the next. Almost four years later I have a book ready to go to print. I am overwhelmed and anxious to move from the safety and security of my kitchen, back in to the outside world again after all this time. You see, it all started with me putting down a few lines to express myself and record my journey, to try in some way to make sense of everything that had happened. Writing was very kind to me, following the aggression and volatility of Multiple Sclerosis. I was safe once more in the surrounds of my home. I sat at my kitchen table, kettle nearby, healthy snacks galore with the central heating switch never far away! I got lost in my writing every time within seconds. It became my great, big, comfortable escape from the angry world that is MS.

But now that’s all changing. It’s getting nearer and nearer to publication. The demands on me are just beginning as my stomach clenches and I tell myself loud and clear that I must step up to the mark now. I never really planned this far ahead. But it’s here now and I don’t think the rest of the book world will afford me the comfort and security of my kitchen writing days. I have often said ‘onwards and upwards’, but it’s meaning feels much more literal and it’s task much more demanding of the ‘kitchen table girl’. I must not flinch, but stand firm in my belief that little old me with my wobbly legs and unruly balance can stand side by side with the best and the rest of the world.

I’ll return to my laptop, my kitchen and my writing one day soon. But first I have a job to do 

 

One more step…

Twists and Turns!

Life has so many twists and turns, it feels like every time I make a decision something comes up to throw it off course! But the good news is, I just keep bouncing back and revising the game plan! So here we are at the end of October 2016. How did that happen? I am finally launching my self-publishing journey of my first book, Born Together, with Matador and an expected publishing date in April 2017.

The website is no longer ‘Coming Soon!’ It is actually here and live at long last! www.patriciagachagan.com   with all the information and updates on Born Together.

Born Together shares a world of inspiration and possibilities. I have dreamt over and over of the time I would share it. This is my story. That time has arrived.

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Twists and Turns!

Decisions, decisions, decisions!

After finally finishing the final edit( I think!) I was at a crossroads of where to go next. Start the long submission process again in the hope of a traditional publisher picking me up? Two-three years in the making at the very least. Or seize the day! Seize the moment! And seize the opportunity I am privileged enough to have and self-publish? I’m not someone who generally hangs around and my wait until now had been focussing on getting Born Together to a high enough standard.  Edit after edit after edit! It is finally ready! A good few sleepless nights and some moments of clarity during the stillness and darkness of those nights. Decision made, excitement begins, nervous overflow! Born Together goes for publication and should be ready for sale around November 2016!

Born Together tells the story of how I went from a travelling teacher to a new mum with Multiple Sclerosis.  How my immune system attacked itself in error following the birth of my wonderful son. And the subsequent years spent searching for alternative treatments in my self-help journey after I rejected the medical prognosis of a life towards disability and vulnerability. Born Together shares the new, pioneering and very successful treatment for MS I have been so grateful to find. Life is not about how many times you fall over, but about how many times you get up again.

I look forward to sharing it all with you x

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Graphic Artist: Dawn McManus
Decisions, decisions, decisions!