My interest in alternative therapies, spirituality, and holistic health began when I was a young teenager. I collected crystals, dream journals, and books on every topic imaginable from palmistry to Zen philosophy.
My first tarot card pack was purchased with my pocket money when I was just thirteen years old – I still use that same pack today, thirty-two years later. I guess it was always inevitable that I would venture into the mind, body, spirit sector as a career path, even if it took me several decades to receive the calling.
Alongside my love for all things mystical, new age, and mindful I also held on tightly to my passion for writing. As a kid, I would curl up on my bed with a notebook, pen, and chunk of rose quartz by my side and write a multitude of stories and poems.
When I finally published my first book back in 2014, I was as surprised as my family and friends that it was a non-fiction title and not a tale of sword and sorcery (that would come a year later). Writing non-fiction was never on my radar, and yet, over the years, I’d collected hundreds of self-help books, and lived by the principles in each of them.
For seven years I ran Body and Soul Holistics, my holistic health business. As well as offering therapies, I also ran a series of workshops. The most popular being my Vision Board courses where I facilitate a group of women to create their vision of the year ahead. The two hours I spend with my group is delightful, especially when I see a student break through a blockage and realise that they have dreams that can be realised in their plan of action.
My meditation classes ran for four years and became a huge part of not only my business, but also my social life. The groups were meaningful and inspirational. I guided my class through a visualisation meditation and breathing exercises and shared tips and advice on how best to meditate at home, find peace and contentment, and to de-stress.
One of the highlights of these evenings was when I shared my oracle card decks with the group. I have fifteen decks in total ranging from angel cards to faerie messages, and messages from the universe to numerology. Each pack offers something unique and yet the process is the same – shuffle the deck, think of a question you need an answer to, pick a card. They are created for entertainment purposes, but if you believe in their ability, oracle cards can offer great comfort and incredible insight into the inner workings of the mind and soul.
When I wrote my series of workshops for women called Motivate Me, I decided to deliver six sessions on a variety of subjects. Facing fears, time management, and visualising a better future were the most popular. The feedback I received after each workshop was encouraging, and being such a fan of oracle cards I began to put together my own pack based on the motivational messages I’d shared as part of the Motivate Me workshops. I cut out fifty-two cards from some craft paper the kids had left over, and I wrote one message on each piece. Just like the beautifully designed products I collected over the years, my hand-made cards worked just as well, and my meditation class students loved using them. It became my goal to get them produced as a working deck and not just a crafty project.
When I mentioned the cards to my publisher, BHC Press they looked into every available option for re-creating my cards but the costs to produce them were extortionate. Instead, they suggested we produce them in book format. They work with an incredibly talented illustrator, Alli Kappen who worked on the cover design, incorporating the four seasons of the year, and the design team at BHC Press created the interior pages to look as much like an oracle card as possible. The page designs are stunning, and the feedback I’ve received has been incredible.
Readers interpret the Motivate Me! Guidebook in their unique way. Some readers have loved the open spaces on each page where they can add notes and thoughts. Others have made the book their own by colouring in the designs in the same way you would enjoy an adult colouring book. Everyone has been amazed at how intuitive the pages are. I get Facebook messages, texts, and emails from readers telling me what card they picked for that day or week and how much it resonates with them and their situation.
When I think back to when I was a teenager, desperate to write fiction, yet surrounded by the tools I needed to motivate others and live a life full of wonder, hope, and laughter, I can only thank my younger self for setting me on this path. Writing non-fiction that inspires people, offers a calming influence, and promotes positivity is the best feeling in the world, and even though I have now published three fiction novels, I feel like I’ve come home when I write my motivational books.
Never disregard the ‘day job’ when figuring out what you want to write. So many writers’ feel that fiction is the way to go, but if you stopped to think about all the topics you know well, the job you do that might be unusual, or quirky, the business you started, the hobby you love – you’ve got an endless supply of material you can use.
Shelley Wilson divides her writing time between motivational non-fiction for adults and the fantasy worlds of her YA fiction.
Her non-fiction books combine lifestyle, motivation, and self-help with a healthy dose of humour, and her YA novels combine myth, legend and fairy tales with a side order of demonic chaos. You can check out all Shelley’s books here
Website: www. shelleywilsonauthor.co.uk
Writing Blog: http:// shelleywilsonauthor.com
Motivational Blog: http:// myresolutionchallenge. blogspot.com
Facebook YA: FantasyAuthorSLWilson
Facebook Non-Fiction: Resolutionchallenge