Keeping a diary while serving on the frontline, could help many troops cope with the possible effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), says Neil Blower, who has been there, wrote the book and campaigned against the condition.
Salford based Blower fought in the Gulf and Kosovo and was diagnosed with PTSD in 2005. He took up creative writing as a form of therapy and his first novel, Shell Shock: The Diary of Tommy Atkins, became a best seller.
"There can be little doubt that writing is a form of therapy" he says "It gave me a form of escapism and concentrated my mind – something I had struggled to do since leaving the Army in 2005.
"I'm not suggesting that everyone in the Forces should consider creative writing with a view of becoming a professional author" he adds "I do believe strongly, however, that keeping a diary or simple journal could minimise the quite catastrophic effects of PTSD."
He explains that keeping a diary can help to minimise the psychological effects of traumatic events, and writing therapy was used successfully by some Vietnam War veterans.
Blower's transition from frontline soldier to critically acclaimed author can be read in a series of new blog posts which he hopes will help all aspiring authors navigate the "murky waters" of the literary industry.
In his first post, 'From the Battlefield to The Booker', he writes: "Now I've finished my second novel, which is due out later this year, and have started my third. I love writing. I have the best job in the world. You'll hear many writers talk about how hard it is, and it is hard. But not as hard as getting shot at and having bombs dropped on your head!"
To read blogs from Neil Blower – click here
Shell Shock: The Diary of Tommy Atkins (Firestep) is available via Amazon