All My Worldly Joy

By Laura Richmond

A memoir of motherhood and mental health

Friday, 17 December 2021

December update: what's this book about again?

Hi everyone -

- and welcome and thank you so much to all the new supporters. The eagle-eyed might notice we’ve had a bit of a jump in the funding since last month and are rapidly approaching 79%! The writing is coming along too: assuming I hit my target for the end of the month, I will have 13 whole chapters down and a prologue. (I’ll cut some stuff out, I promise...) It’s starting to feel like we’re on the home straight and I hope you’ll all have your copies by the time the next Christmas update comes around. Some of you have been waiting literally years and I am so thankful for your patience and your being alongside me during this process. It has been so strange, and difficult at times.

I still find it difficult to even describe this book. On one level, it's a story about a traumatic birth and postnatal PTSD. But, at least in its current form, it's also about a dozen other things. It's about surviving the psychiatric system. Its about the decision to have a child after you’ve been diagnosed with a lifelong mental illness. It's about falling in love with your baby when you were afraid that you wouldn’t, and finding your feet as a mum. It's about learning to trust yourself. It's about the ways in which trauma shapes us and directs us. It's about navigating the world when you’re neurodivergent and just a bit weird and different. It's about coming to terms to with loss. There's always such a lot going on, isn't there? And this isn't a novel or a film. I want this book to be true. My intention is that it will also be readable! I'm constantly trying to place it at the right point on the spectrum between three-act Hollywood, where everything is glossy and oversimplified, and real life in all its messy, untangled, completely incomprehensible glory.

I will leave it there, loves: due to a combination of the end of the school term, a narrowly-diverted disaster with a handwritten veggie parcel recipe (photocopied by a kind teacher at the last minute), and a not-diverted diaster with meeting a friend in the park (his mum had frozen chips in her bag and had to get home), I am rapidly running out of day. I'm mindful that many of us are feeling less-than-merry this Yuletide, with the apocalypse kicking off again, the short days and long nights, and a general sense of depletion and apprehension. But I want to wish you all a happy Christmas anyway, and a rest.

With love,

Laura

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