A dedicated Nurse thought her life was over when she had to give up the job she loved, due to chronic arthritis.
But after becoming almost bed bound by the condition, Linda Jones from Wakefield, West Yorkshire decided to start writing a novel.
She could barely hold a pen but could occasionally manage typing.
Mrs Jones, 58, said: “I was devastated to leave my job as I loved working at the nursing home.
“It was where I started when I first became a nurse, and it was one of the most fulfilling jobs I’ve ever had. “It was exasperating; my mind was as active as ever but my body felt like it was made of lead.”
Mrs Jones had always enjoyed writing and even used it in her work to help her patients through a difficult time.
She said: “I always encourage my patients to write as a way of expressing themselves and focusing on something positive.”
And Linda, now herself struggling, decided to listen to her own advice.
She said: “It was impossible to hold a pen for more than a few minutes but I could tap away at a keyboard.
And I could even do this when confined to my bed on a bad day.”
Mrs Jones continued to do just that throughout the next two years.
“I started to dream of becoming an author but never imagined it would actually happen.”
But the self-taught Mrs Jones penned her debut novel which has been picked up by independent publishers The Writing Hall, based in Pontefract, West Yorkshire.
She said: “My arthritis meant all my joints had swollen up so I had very little confidence but knowing that someone believed in my book, was the first step back into believing in myself.”
With medication, little exertion and less wear and tear on her body, Mrs Jones’ condition gradually improved. It still controlled whether she had a ’good day’ or a ‘bad day’, but focusing on her writing meant she saw beyond her restrictions, and it helped her to fight against the depression that threatened to take over.
Her first novel, A Fistful of Feathers, is in a trilogy for children aged 9-12 years, went a long way to saving her sanity.
Mrs Jones added: “When I was forced to give up nursing I felt my life was going backwards, and at speed. Now I see that it was simply changing course. I never dreamt I’d be able to make writing my career, and I truly appreciate all the help and support the medical staff, my family, and my friends, have given me to get me here.”
A Fistful of Feathers was officially launched at a special event on May 10, at The Regents Hotel, Doncaster. Copies of ‘A Fistful of Feathers’ can be purchased via www.thewritinghall.co.uk.
A background to Linda:
Linda was diagnosed with inflammatory response arthritis, a condition caused by a suppressed immune system. This affected her joints, causing them to swell; the ensuing pain, particularly in her hands and feet, meant even the smallest tasks were difficult to carry out. Though she struggled on, working as a senior psychiatric nurse in elderly care, for a little while following her diagnosis, Linda was eventually forced to give up work – her condition aggravated by the job she loved.
Eventually, Linda felt well enough to search out other writers. She found a small, supportive group in Doncaster, run by Ray Hearne, which gave her the stimulus and encouragement she needed. Linda submitted her debut novel, ‘A Fistful of Feathers’, to a local, independent publisher, who thought it stood out amongst similar books for its readership, and who subsequently secured the publishing rights.
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