The First Step evolved during the time I was mobility disabled following a road traffic accident on January 21, 2005. As soon as I was able to move the fingers on my right hand, my mother encouraged me to jot down whatever came to my mind. She knew I enjoyed writing and that it would turn out to be a cathartic experience for me. I started jotting down a few sentences on my first blog, View from my desk, which I had started just a month before my accident.
A couple of months before I planned to return to work, with the help of a walking aid, I realized I wanted to share my experience with others as a book or booklet. I had avoided people outside of my immediate family and had not wanted anyone to visit me during my recovering days. I knew many were concerned and had prayed for me. I had been touched by the messages received even if I had not been up to dealing with visits. I felt this was a way that I could share what I went through with those who had cared.
I also found that I was suddenly possessed by my writing bug. I had sudden clarity about how I wanted the book to flow and an overwhelming need to write it out without interruption. So, the weeks leading up to the return to work was not in preparation of resuming work but writing feverishly for hours each day, and drawing from my different blog posts wherever I felt they fitted into my story line. My family members gave me their opinion and comments during the editing process.
I self-published the book in July 2005 and printed limited copies that I sent out to my well-wishers as an expression of my thanks and acknowledgement for their kind thoughts. Several years later in 2010, I printed some more copies to raise some funds for an art morning at the Ceylon School for the deaf in Ratmalana.
Eventually I decided that even though this book was very much personal to me, I would like to share it with others who may have had similar experiences or would be interested in reading about my experience or thoughts. I did not want to have to print every few years, either with my own funds as I did before or through a traditional publisher, as I wanted the book to be easily available to anyone who might be interested in it. That led me to Amazon’s CreateSpace programme in 2012. The First Step is now available on Amazon on a print-on-demand basis and in their Kindle store.
The First Step can be freely downloaded today and tomorrow at the Amazon Kindle store as part of a book promotion.
- Title: The First Step
- Author: Ahila Thillainathan
- Paperback: 84
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 20, 2012)
- ISBN-13: 978-1478253174
- Sold at the Kindle Store by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc