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What I’ve Learned from Writing a Book

Here's what I've learned from writing a book...... One, it's soooo much work; writing, writing and you guessed it, more writing. Find out what else I learned by becoming an author.

Here’s what I’ve learned from writing a book… One, it’s soooo much work: writing, writing and you guessed it, more writing. Find out what else I learned by becoming an author.

Way back in 2018, I started to write my manuscript, a book titled The Road To Mental Wellness. In it, I talk about my lengthy battle with mental illness – a fight that stated in childhood, or at least, that’s what I suspect.

Well, my life as it is, is nothing special. I do not come from royalty; I am the furthest thing away from a Hollywood hunk, and have yet to solve world hunger.

However, what I do have is a valuable story to tell. And I think it’s a good one. My goal? To help other people with mental illness, by being a voice for those who are too afraid to speak. Similarly, I hope that it provides people with the inspiration to move down their own road to mental wellness.

Perhaps of equal importance, my book is written in an attempt to help the non-sufferer understand the battle people with a mental-health condition are going through. I passionately believe that if we all work together, we can help minimize stigma.

How to fight mental illness stigma

So then, what else made me write my book? Well, here’s what I’ve learned from writing a book.

A long-hidden passion

Firstly, for me, being off work; debilitated from the workplace injury, PTSD ignited a long-hidden passion – writing. As a teen, I spent hours in my room writing out and trying to make sense of the dread and emptiness that dominated my heart and mind. And at that time, I kept my passion on the down low, terrified that another dude would find out.



Sadly, this was for more than one reason. To start with, there was the writing. I wrote a lot of song lyrics back in the 90s, not something you announced to the world back in those days. Thankfully, at the age of 45, I’ve learned that one should always follow their passion. Man, it may save your life.

Now, doing something I love, I feel liberated and thus better able to cope with depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

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While this may be true, writing helped me immensely. Essentially, I medicated with a passion, a fact that, unbeknownst to me saved me from the uncertainties of adolescents. And, for which I’m thankful, saving my life today. When I look back at it, it was an amazing therapeutic release, one I am still grateful for.

The second one almost goes without saying. It’s fear – fear of talking about what was eating me alive from the inside. I often thought, “Well, that’s never going to happen”… Of course, this is no longer my position on my mental health, and I am happy because I feel like people are getting better as time goes on, but back in the day, I would never have told the world, much less write a book. So, stigma buried it deep.

Ways to achieve your passion

what I've learned from writing a book
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Because I had secretly poured my pain on to the pages of any notebook or piece of paper I could get my hands on in my youth, I developed a talent for writing. And as a result, I was able to carry that with me throughout my life. I mean, it works. When I write, I feel better. In fact, I know it was a central reason through the most challenging times in my life.

As you might well imagine, having to go off work with a mental disability is scary. I had kids and a mortgage, all the things that require an income…Consequently, it compounded my mental woes at the time.

Another key point? I needed help from a mental-health professional. And as you might imagine, waiting for WCB, which is what I am now on, took ages – damn red tape. Therefore, I was desperate to stay alive.



So, in a desperate bid to keep going, I turned to writing, a decades-old passion suppressed by my fear of what people might think. I began to write out my story. “What the hell were the circumstances that derailed my life?” I thought. And with that, I began banging away at my keyboard. Before I knew it, I had written out my childhood battles, complete with the temper outbursts and physical aggression (on inanimate objects only, though) and ended with my tragic and exhausting battle with PTSD.

Because my mental health was in jeopardy, it was clear at the time I went off work, that I needed some kind of therapeutic release. I am so grateful that I found it. To think, it was there all along. My biggest takeaway? I leaned that a positive release can help one cope until they are able to see a therapist.

Wow, there’s so much to authoring a book – but it’s 100% worth it.

Now, in 2021, I am still pounding away at The Road To Mental Wellness – the book. I am not ashamed to say that I am a bit tired of the process. However, THE FINAL DRAFT IS ALMOST DONE! and soon people will be able to download the first chapter, A Precursor for Illness -FREE. If you would like to read it, subscribe to our newsletter: Subscriber form. We will send you the password for the download page.

Now that I can see the end of the writing journey, I can look back at it and see how helpful finally following my passion has been. Having a goal, a reason to get up more days than not is amazing for your mental wellbeing. Purpose is like jet fuel; it will get you going. So, what are you waiting for? Start healing through purpose. Why not let your journey start today?

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Jonathan Arenburg.
Jonathan Arenburg.

Jonathan Arenburg is a mental-health blogger, writer, and published author, appearing in the i’Mpossible’s Projects Lemonade Stand III. He has also been a contributing writer for Mental Health Talk, a column in his local paper. In addition, he has written for the mental-health advocacy organization Sick Not Weak.

Jonathan has also appeared on several mental health-related podcasts including: A New Dawn, The Depression Files, Books and Authors, and Men Are Nuts. Since being put off work because of PTSD, Jonathan has dedicated his time to his mental-wellness journey while helping others along the way.

Educated as an addictions counsellor, he has dedicated most of his professional life of eighteen years to working with those who have intellectual disabilities, behavioural challenges, and mental illness.

He has also spent fifteen years in the volunteer fire service helping his community.

His book “The Road To Mental Wellness” goes into detail about his life-long battle with depression, anxiety and more recently, PTSD. In it, he hopes to provide insight on how mental illness cultivates over a lifetime and, if not recognized and treated, how it impacts the entirety of one’s life, right from childhood into the adult years. Jonathan lives with his two children in Nova Scotia, Canada.

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