1. Hello! Thanks for taking part in this interview. Now, tell us a little bit about you and your work!
I am a former nurse and clinical hypnotherapist turned podcast on the subjects of positive changes, and grief.
My books are Positive Changes: A Self-Kick Book, and Good Grief: The A to Z Approach of Modern Day Grief Healing (out 24th September 2021 with O Books).
Positive Changes: A Self-Kick Podcast is my award-winning mental health podcast, where each week I am joined by an guest who overcame a life-changing event and went on to create a Positive Change, sharing the tools which they used to do so.
I am also founder and host of Good Grief: Northampton Death Cafe.
I am currently beavering away behind the scenes creating new products and services to inspire and support more people to create their own Positive Changes.
On a more personal note, I am mum of four and wife of one!
2. Before we get into everything else, do you have anything published? If yes, you can add links to your work and your socials in question ten!
Yes, Positive Changes: A Self-Kick Book (November 2018) and (nearly) Good Grief: The A to Z Approach of Modern Day Grief Healing (24th September 2021 but available to pre-order now).
3. Why did you start writing and how did you start writing?
I hit rock bottom and had a semi-colon moment where I wondered if to end my life sentence or go all in and aim for my best possible outcome and life.
I was forty years old and at twenty-weeks we were told to terminate the pregnancy as the baby would not survive beyond twenty-eight weeks gestation, and never survive beyond my body should they manage to reach full term.
Despite a gorgeous husband and three cute children, it did not feel enough to stay for as was so grief-stricken…However, I kept having a recurring vision of a baby girl to come, and so I finally decided to go all in and whilst the medical world had given me doom, the spiritual world had given me a glimmer of hope, so I tried all things new and spiritual to get me through.
My first book, Positive Changes: A Self-Kick Book, contains many of my humorous stories of my journey, dollops of science around positive thinking and mindset, and lots of personal development tools to try to get you to look at your life from a new perspective. It took about four years from the idea of writing a book to actually publishing it (I used to have Imposter Syndrome but I have been cured now) but the five star feedback is amazing, as it shows me that we are all capable of creating small positive changes, even if at rock bottom.
Good Grief: The A to Z Approach of Modern Day Grief Healing is a more sombre book, sharing my thirty year career in healthcare, and my spiritual growth from life itself. Good Grief looks at life, dying, death, and life thereafter from both a clinical and spiritual perspective. It shows how we all grieve different aspects of out life, but we hold great power within us to heal ourselves, our past, and the path ahead. Good Grief was a more speedy affair, taking just nine months to landing a book contract with the wonderful O Books.
4. Do you have a specific writing schedule or do you just write at any time?
I would love to say that I right every single day, rising up when the sun does and journaling my soul away…but I would be lying! I do try and write for thirty minutes a day, mostly book number three, but sometimes it is writing in the form of shopping lists, to-do lists, brain dumping new business ideas, or other pen to paper ideas. Yes, I am old school and use pen and paper in the initial stages of a book or business idea.
5. What inspires you? Does life itself inspire you? Do ideas just come to you? What about searching online for ideas?
I am a huge advocate for self-love, and can often be found saying “The relationship we have with ourselves is the most important one of all. It is the only one to be with us from our first breath to our last.” With this in mind, I always try to inspire myself so that I am always taking action and not becoming stagnant or complacent in life.
I worked as a chemotherapy nurse for many years, and when people receive a life-changing diagnosis, or are at the end of their life, much wisdom was bestowed upon me about what it truly important in life. I use their key life lessons to inspire me to live my best life.
I have a very active mind, and will often have light bulb moments of inspiration, often from moments of silence. I always have a pen and paper nearby to quickly jot down these weird and wonderful thoughts!
6. Has your work every made you laugh? Smile? Cry?
Words truly lights me up, whether it is me writing the words, or hearing the words from my guests on Positive Changes: A Self-Kick Podcast. I have laughed a lot lately writing my crazy third book, I have cried recording recent podcast guests with suicide survivors, and I smile every day.
7. Do you have a number one supporter, or even multiple supporters!?
When I overcame the Imposter Syndrome and finally released Positive Changes: A Self-Kick Book, some of the earlier readers left the most amazing reviews. These wonderful souls are still Shelley cheerleaders now; interacting on social media, subscribing to the newsletter and podcast. My husband says it is better to have one hundred true fans rather than thousands of followers.
8. Do you have any advice for someone who may be feeling negatively towards their work? Perhaps they feel it’s not good enough or are struggling to find ideas and motivation. What would you say to them?
We can be so guilty of being our own worst critic which results with people getting in their own way.
I tell my children that there is no such thing as perfection. No one is perfect which means no-one’s definition of perfect is valid.
I am a great believer in “feel the fear and do it anyway” which also comes from the life lessons of the dying, where I learned time and time again, that at the end of our lives, we only come to regret the things we did not do in life, not the things we did.
Get the words out.
Speak your truth.
Trust the process.
Be an original not a copy.
Know that you were born to stand out and not fit in.
Live your life your way.
9. Before we wrap up, how about a fun question! Do you enjoy editing!?
Ha ha, no, I feel my soul shrivelling inside, and I am not the most conducive editor either, as I inevitably read the words as I think they read, having written the words originally, rather than what is on the page. If there is an error there, it will still be there post-edit, albeit with a slightly more shrivelled soul!
10. Okay, now for the real stuff, post the links to your work and your socials!
Good Grief Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NorthamptonDeathCafe
Positive Changes: A Self-Kick Book: https://shelleyfknight.com/books/
Good Grief: The A to Z Approach of Modern Day Grief Healing: https://shelleyfknight.com/books/
Free newsletter: https://pages.shelleyfknight.com/free-chapter
In case I missed anything: linktr.ee/shelleyfknight
Thank you for taking part in this interview!