The Other Side: Living With Aspergers Syndrome
Okay, so I'm writing a book and I've set this page up so I can self publish it, properly with an ISBN number and everything. The book is about my experiences of living with Aspergers Syndrome. It's called 'The Other Side' because I was diagnosed after I'd already overcome a lot of the issues I was having and so I can now look back on my, slightly train wreck esque, life and piece things together, realising now that a lot of what happened was related to my having Aspergers.
Here is a brief look at what each section will be about:
Early life –the way I would play with toys and the things I would get obsessed with watching on the TV, as well as how I interacted with children at my play group before school.
My Parent’s divorce and starting school - I didn’t really know I had a routine, but I knew it had been disrupted in a huge way and looking back I can see it bothered me more than I realised.
Moving up to Junior school – a massive change for me, new building, new people and new teachers. I missed the old school for a long time. I also had my first bully at this school.
Starting High School – I picked the wrong high school to go to which meant I wasn’t with familiar people. I got bullied a lot and ended up having to have therapy for the first time.
Changing Schools – after all the bullying and several kinds of therapy, I moved to a different high school. To make it worse, my personal life fell apart in the summer holiday before I started.
Nervous Breakdown – I messed up at my new school and ended up having to leave, and spent the best part of a year in my room after my breakdown. I got diagnosed as a result and gave school another try.
Chris – I got a couple of qualifications from school but still left early, which is when I met my partner Chris. He moved in with my and my Mum’s house and ended up with a diagnosis of Aspergers as well.
Living With Strangers – Me and Chris moved in with his family when my Mum got married. Seen as he had a new job, it meant I was alone a lot and it was a really tough time adjusting.
Working From Home – when I had finally settled down, I began building up my YouTube videos again and eventually built WillowHope, Koby and Friends and Asperclick – as well as releasing my first book.
Work – it’s hard for me to juggle all the things I do for work with my home life and I get it wrong a lot. I’ll also include my plans for the future, both personal and business.
(For more details on how the book will be split up, and for chapter titles, click on 'Updates')
The main reason I need to crowdfund this book, but didn't for the first one ('The Girl In The Panda Hat' - here), is because I intend for this book to actually sell a few copies! Haha, the first one is pretty much all poetry which I understand isn't for everyone and I guess I just figured that it wasn't going to sell enough for me to need an ISBN number. It's kind of an expensive process and I don't have any money to do this on my own because me and my partner are trying our hardest to buy a house next year (where we live now is not Asperger friendly and we can't really take it any more!).
'The Girl In The Panda Hat' was a collection of poems and short stories from when I was having my nervous breakdown, and I decided to release it to try and help people who were feeling very low, to show them that people can come out of it feeling okay, like I managed to. I self published that book successfully, the only difference with 'The Other Side' is that it will have an ISBN number printed on the back. So, you can be sure that I can pull this off, as I've done it before!
So anyway, I will need to buy an ISBN number, and then I'll need to sort out the printing of it so I can actually have some to sell/send out to the lovely people who have donated here, and probably some to giveaway in competitions!
The thing is, ISBN numbers come in blocks of 10 and so I'd like to share with you what I will be doing with the remaining 9 after I've assigned one to 'The Other Side'. I will 're-release' my first book (here's the link again) with an ISBN number so it's all official and what not. But then after that I would like to put the other 8 ISBN numbers on some children's books, which I have started putting together already. I'll be using my lovely characters 'Koby and Friends' who you can see here. But seen as I haven't set a deadline for those, I haven't included them in any of the 'rewards'. The children's books will also be aimed at helping people with Autism or Aspergers.
I would like to get my book printed with the same people who I used to get my first book printed - it's a bit pricey, but I love the quality and am happy with their service on the whole - plus, I already know what I'm doing so there won't be any issues, but if need be I can try and find a cheaper option. I would like to order a small amount to start with, to keep in stock, plus any which need to be sent out to the people who donate the amounts where 'The Other Side' is listed as a reward. I don't want to go overboard because I'm just this one, relatively unknown person and I don't know how well it will do.
So, for the ISBN number, it will cost £126.00 and for the initial stock (and for the books I need to send to various libraries for their records) it will cost around £250.00. I can't be exact with that figure because the book isn't complete yet, so I can't know how many pages it will be etc, but I have a figure in mind of roughly where it will end up.
Which brings us to £376.00
If by some miracle I raise more than this amount, be sure that the remainder will go into the children's books or the upkeep of my forum for people on the Autistic Spectrum - Asperclick.
A little bit about me...
I was born in 1992 and got diagnosed with Aspergers when I was 16 or 17, as well as dyspraxia and Attention Deficit Disorder. I went to a mainstream school, but I had a lot of problems - I ended up changing to a different mainstream school when I was around 14 because I was getting bullied so much. Unfortunately, the same kind of thing happened in my new school and I decided to drop out for a year or so - in which time I had a nervous breakdown before finally trying to get my qualifications one last time when I was 16. I came out halfway through the course with 2 GCSE's and never went back. I'm disappointed, but there was no way for me to continue at that stage.
I am engaged to a man named Chris and he also has Aspergers, and he helps me to set these websites up and what not (he's a software engineer/web developer).
I have been doing a video blog on YouTube since 2009 which I started spontaneously but quickly realised that speaking about living with Aspergers in a real, 'down to earth' sense was really helpful to people, and so I kept it up, and started doing more serious videos from time to time, specifically to talk about a certain aspect of Aspergers.
As well as that I have my own website and blog to take care of, which I started as a nice way to bring all of my things together in one place (I'm a graphic designer, photographer, writer and artist). I’m always trying to think of news ways which I could apply my skillset to helping other people with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. I am hoping I could maybe branch out into visiting Asperger groups to talk and answer questions, as I am attending my first one this year, and if it’s going to help people then I’d love to be able to do it more often.
After ‘The Other Side’ is done, I will be concentrating on the first storybook using the ‘Koby and Friends’ characters, will hopefully help children on the spectrum to learn things which they struggle with, or just cheer them up! I have first-hand experience with an Autistic child as I was 7 years old when my brother was born, and it was clear from day 1 that there was something different about him! So I will apply what I know from him, myself and my fiancé to these stories. I am also considering writing a book about relationships (romantic ones) and maybe trying to talk about intimacy. But we’ll see!
So yeah, that's me. Nice to meet you and thank you for reading this far!
Risks and challenges
The only real 'risk/challenge' here is the fact the book isn't finished yet and I've been writing it for around 6 months, on and off in between my other projects (like running the forum 'Asperclick', making the video project '50 Faces of Aspergers Syndrome' and of course my first book 'The Girl In The Panda Hat').
I go through phases of being able to write a lot in a short space of time, but some parts of it tend to get to me a bit because I have to go back and relive some really difficult times which I've had - so I tend to take longer to write those bits down. But all in all, I intend to have the book complete by the end of 2013.
As I mentioned, I have self published before, so you don't need to worry about whether I know what I'm doing or not, because the first book has been on sale for coming up to a year now and has been relatively successful so far.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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