Books by Neil - To see them all: CLICK HERE.
My writing career began in 1999 when I was referred to a journalist’s course by my Occupational Therapist after my fourth breakdown. I’d mentioned to her that I was thinking of writing a book about my experiences and it was her next sentence that would prove to be the pin point marker in a sustained bout of good mental health for me. She said, “Let’s get you published first.”
I wasn’t quite sure what she meant but I arrived at the day unit in Hornsey to find and editorial team run by mental health survivors and led by a professional freelance journalist with 20 years of experience. The team were taught how to produce the on-line newsletter ‘Equilibrium’ from scratch, which covers all mental health issues and is still produced today. Six weeks later I saw my name in print for the first time, when the team edited a piece I wrote on depression. So what began as therapy ended my trips to the psychiatric ward.
The course ran for two year course but I stayed on for three more years and in that time I was encouraged to write my first book Bi Polar Expedition www.bipolar-expedition.co.uk. My work was then recommended and in 2006 my book was published.
A few years later I joined another on-line mental health newsletter team called Forward, where I wrote the humour page for three years and left the team as the deputy editor in 2012. And it was during my time there that I began the first drafts of 'A Section for Laughing'.
Ironically, after suffering with a protracted diagnosis, I somehow managed to hang onto my all of my ‘humour marbles’. Now it’s time to play with them…