Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wonderful Guest Post by Author Sue Ingebretson

The Birth of a Book

I jumped at the opportunity to guest post on Maya’s blog, Loving with Chronic Illness. Her themes of persistence, passion, and joy in all circumstances are concepts I truly admire. Sharing ideas about healing (from rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, fibromyalgia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, various autoimmune conditions, etc.) is my favorite activity! 

I am a writer/speaker and if you haven’t seen me speak locally, you can find me online. My website and blog is located at  www.rebuildingwellness.com and I’m busy on social networking sites, too. Find me on Facebook and Twitter as Sue Ingebretson and @SueInge. My book, FibroWHYalgia, has its own Facebook page as well as the website listed above.

I never thought writing and speaking on health issues would be my life’s work. But then life doesn’t always turn out as planned, does it? Years ago, I enjoyed writing projects and belonged to a children’s writers group. I worked hard at my craft; I found it cathartic to write.

I also spoke at various groups about health and healing. I learned that when people know you as a very sick person, and then see you as a very “well” person, they want you to spill the beans. At local churches and hospitals, I detailed my personal journey from illness to wellness. I found myself spending an increased amount of time answering phone calls, emails, and questions after events and monthly support group meeting. It became clear that I had to shift gears in my writing world and start a non-fiction project. I called it, my little Health Book.

I’ve been asked why I didn’t write this book years ago when I started to get well. I think I was just so relieved to find the pain and fatigue slip away that I wanted my former “sick” life to slip away, too. Writing about it brought it all back. 

I wrote the last two-thirds of my book first; it poured out relatively quickly. It’s easy to hop into the role of a sharing friend. The beginning –- where I tell my personal story – took me ages to write. I labored over it. Each time I sat down to write about the pain and misery I endured, it all came back to me. The memories flooded my mind and my body. I felt those memories in every muscle, bone, and nerve. 

So, I’d write a little, and then try to shake it off. I’d do something nurturing like taking a long walk or practicing tai chi. After a certain point, however, I knew I’d have to knuckle down or I’d never finish. I bulldozed through the process. It took eleven months to write my entire first draft and then another two years (and then some!) to edit, edit, edit. It’s funny that the part that took me the longest to write is now whittled down to just a few segments. Writing is a lot like bacon -- how it begins looks nothing like the finished product.

The final result is my book, FibroWHYalgia: Why Rebuilding the Ten Root Causes of Chronic Illness Restores Chronic Wellness. Although it may sound like it, my book isn’t only about Fibromyalgia. The root causes of chronic illness (and the methods and treatments needed to heal those causes), are universal. The themes it contains can help all who seek improved health. My title stemmed from a deep, personal sense of curiosity. I wanted to know why I was sick. That led to a better understanding of how chronic illness begins and, of course, a better understanding of what to do about it. Asking why is always a good place to start.

These days, I write and speak on the subjects of health, wellness, and encouragements to heal. I give talks and workshops about nutrition, restoring digestive health, stress-management, aging, and preventing illness. I’m now the director of program development for the Fibromyalgia Research and Education Center at California State University in Fullerton. It’s my particular passion to speak to young moms and students as the lifestyle changes they make affect future generations. Of course, the most efficient way to attack chronic illness is to keep it from starting in the first place. 

Because I am a small-time author, getting the word out about my book is a challenge. I’m thankful for bloggers and reviewers, like Maya, who help me share my passion. Please contact me at  Sue@RebuildingWellness.com if you have thoughts/ideas on how to help spread this mission of healing. I’m always thankful for new ideas. And, of course, if you feel you’ve benefited from my book, I’d be pleased if you’d write a review on Amazon or B&N.

You can find FibroWHYalgia, on my site, www.RebuildingWellness.com, Amazon.com, and BarnesandNoble.com. There are numerous stores nearby where it can be purchased so contact me for the list if you live in Southern California. Shopping online is easier than ever, though. By using the Look Inside feature on Amazon, you can even peruse my book’s Table of Contents and poke around to your heart’s content.

It’s my hope that those who read my book will be entertained, educated, and most of all, encouraged to make healthy lifestyle changes. Change can be a very GOOD thing!

(Thank you so much Sue! Please feel free to comment, my lovely readers.)
Love, Maya)

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