Wise Words - Inspring Individual Charlotte Reed

Charlotte Reed, author of “May the Thoughts Be with You” – a collection of positive and inspirational thoughts and drawings – tells Inspired Mums how battling depression and illness gave her the self-belief to change career, follow her passion and start her own business.

Tell me more about “May the Thoughts Be With You”.

“May the Thoughts Be With You” is a collection of positive thoughts and drawings to inspire your day which I initially posted on Facebook. Two years ago I decided to turn my collection of thoughts into a book by doing my own illustrations and self publishing it. I sold it to family, friends of friends, local shops and bookstores – however, even though I sold lots of copies I soon realised I would not make enough money to live off. I realised I needed a different approach so I decided to run a stall in Portobello Market to sell my books and prints.

What was the inspiration behind your work?

In 2008 I began to suffer with depression – I knew I needed to adopt a holistic approach to try to get better and as part of this I decided to think of one positive thought each morning to help me on the road to recovery. Once I was better, I had a whole collection of positive thoughts.

When was your light bulb moment when you realised you wanted to change career from your job as a Legal secretary?

Having recovered from my depression, my life took another unexpected turn when I was diagnosed with Repetitive Strain Injury and signed off from work for two years so my nervous system could heal. I knew I had to find another career - as a teenager I’d always dreamed of making a living out of being creative and it felt like now was the time to follow that dream.

What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome?

I felt that circumstances in my life had forced me into a corner. On the one hand I felt scared by the enormity of my decision to hand in my notice and write my book, on the other I felt excited that for the first time I would be in charge of my own destiny with no one telling me what to do.   I knew that I’d overcome depression and illness so part of me felt exhilarated and thought, “come on life”!

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

It’s meeting my customers at my stall – often they don’t realise I’ve actually written and illustrated the book – sometimes they go to a coffee shop to read my book and come back to talk to me about it and buy extra copies for friends. My book seems to really resonate with people who are going through change and I get a sense that I am helping them a little. I had one email from a 17 year old girl saying she was feeling suicidal and that reading my posts on instagram was helping her to keep going. 

With the benefit of hindsight, what would you have done differently?

I don’t think I would have done anything differently – I’m a great believer that there are no mistakes, only learning opportunities.

What advice would you give someone in a similar situation?

I would say start with small steps at the beginning and don’t necessarily quit your job straightaway. I had to because I was ill but I made sure I had savings put aside to live on.   I would advise working on your business in the evening and at weekends until you feel confident to work on it full time.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from your journey?

The biggest thing I’ve learned is self-belief – we all have an inner critic voice and I’ve found it incredibly joyful to make it my daily practice to ignore it!

Do you have a favourite thought / picture?

A particular favourite is one called The Leap of Faith - which shows a person jumping off a cliff into the sea of dreams - it really reflects my decision to quit my job and write my book.

What next for “May the thoughts be with you”?

A publisher approached me in 2013 to publish my book, by the time it was published I had already sold 5000 copies of my self-published version. My book is now available around the world and has been translated into different languages. I am currently looking at developing an animated version of the book. I would also love to have a weekly column in a newspaper.


To order a copy of Charlotte’s inspirational book, visit www.maythethoughtsbewithyou.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter to receive a positive thought from Monday to Friday.





Share this Article