Belinda wants to use her experiences to empower others
Belinda O’Neill is a motivational speaker, writer and the founder of her own creative brand, Be Inspired To Be. This month she launched her first book of the same name, and will be beneficial to anyone needing a boost of motivation and inspiration as we head closer to Christmas.
Why was now the right time to write a book?
I have had the ambition to write a book of daily inspiration since I established my Be Inspired To Be brand back in 2017. My book is essentially five years in the making and it is a collection of inspirational quotes, poems, and reflections, many written during the most challenging of times.
I have Be Inspired To Be social media pages across multiple platforms, the biggest growth of my brand was over the past 24 months. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns I think that a lot of people went online in search of a little hope and inspiration.
I have amassed over 140,000 international online followers, for which I am extremely grateful. This growth reaffirmed that there was a demand for my work and I knew the time was now right to pursue my dream of compiling my book of daily inspiration.
The book creation formally started in January this year when I began working with Book Hub Publishing, who are based in Galway.
It has taken many conversations, writing and late nights of editing, but it eventually went to print in October, and I’m now truly delighted to hold it in my hands. It really is a dream come true.
What about the writing process did you find most difficult, or most enjoyable?
I have been writing for five years, writing daily for over two years, so the writing process has become a natural part of my daily routine.
The book creation was greater than I had initially anticipated, mainly from a content selection and editorial perspective. I had a huge body of work to choose from and I wanted the flow of the book to be right.
I have learned so much and I have thoroughly enjoyed the process, which has given me the appetite for further book creation.
The support from my publishers was brilliant; they guided me throughout the entire process and they fully bought into the vision I had for my book. A good friend and artist, Pamela Manson, hand painted the cover of my book, making it even more special.
You say writing is a form of self-therapy. How did it help you?
In January 2017 a close family member received a shock cancer diagnosis. It was during this time when I really turned to my writing, changing the anxious and worrying thoughts I was having into more positive and hopeful ones.
I found it therapeutic, it helped me to focus on the now and keep me in the present moment as opposed to my mind wandering into a distressed, unknown future state. As such, writing is now part of my daily routine. I usually write early in the morning, and therefore starting the day is a more positive and hopeful way. I would recommend others to get creative, it really does aid our minds’ health and wellbeing.
Have you plans to write other books, in different genres?
In short, yes. I have at least two other book ideas, both with a self-development, inspirational theme. I consider myself a thought leader with a passion for women’s health, given my own journey of gynaecological issues from the age of 16, which impacted on my fertility and, more recently, the early onset of the menopause.
I have been in banking for almost 25 years, becoming the youngest manager at 25 and senior manager at 28. I returned to studying part-time in 2016, gaining a third level qualification through Ulster University, with a specific focus and interest in emotional intelligence and leadership. I would like to use my experiences, both professionally and personally, to further empower and support others through additional books.
What impact do you hope your book has on readers?
My aim for my book is to offer a little daily inspiration and to highlight that, despite challenge, there is always hope.
Life is filled with hurdles which need to be overcome, all testing our resilience. My book is a collection of thoughts, reflections and poems which will hopefully offer a boost of positivity and mindfulness each day.
Our thoughts and our self-talk have such a powerful impact on how we feel, act and speak. Taking a little reflection time each morning really can help to reframe and reset us, keeping us focused on the present moment and helping to create inner peace.
One of my quotes, which I wrote recently and features in my book, is: “Be kind to your mind, because your body is listening.” I hope my book aids self-kindness, self-worth and self-love.
Belinda’s book can be purchased via her website www.beinspiredtobe.com. You can follow Be Inspired To Be on facebook, twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn