AN Old Kilpatrick author admits being gripped by self-doubt throughout her life makes publishing her first book of poems “an incredible feeling".

Michaela Burns insists poetry self-publication ‘My Words in 40 Days’ has aided her on her journey to being in the best place mentally she has ever been after years of battling depression, anxiety and physical pain.

The 32-year-old lives with fibromyalgia – a condition that brings chronic pain and fatigue – and the condition has brought with it mental scarring.

But the self-confessed “shy girl” believes she has used the power of writing words onto a page as a way to banish the demons living inside her head.

Speaking exclusively to The Clydebank Post, Michaela said: “I have struggled with my mental health for as long as I can remember, and I have struggled with my fibromyalgia, so then there is the physical element.

“For a lot of that, I have tried to use writing as my strength.

“To put how I am feeling into that and hopefully reach other people who are feeling the same and let them know they are not alone.”

Michaela added: “I am in the best place I have ever been. Through my writing, and doing my meditation, I have improved a lot.

“I still have struggles and still have bad days, but the journey that I am on just now with my writing has just been a huge boost.

"The book was supported by a 40-day devotion set up by a friend, and for me, being in the best place I am it's due to my writing and being surrounded by people who see me and believe in me and because I've finally found my voice."

Michaela, who works at local food bank Old Kilpatrick Food Parcels, revealed she has always been more introverted when it comes to sharing her feelings, and even struggled with spelling and grammar, making her achievement of publishing her book of “raw authentic” poems all the sweeter.

“Throughout my life, I’d say I was more on the shy side,” she continued.

“I was alright with people, but when it came to anything personal, or sharing feelings, I guess my safe space was my writing. It was my comfort.

“If there are spelling mistakes, if there are a couple of errors, that is just me being true to me.

“Again, breaking that barrier down by saying, 'I’m not perfect, and my book isn’t going to be perfect, but, if I write it and somebody chooses to buy it then great'.

“Hopefully it will encourage other people who may struggle a little bit with grammar or spelling, just because they have those difficulties doesn’t mean they can’t do it.

“I had a lot of self-doubt just that I was capable of achieving this, the anxiety would creep in telling me not to do it.”

The talented poet published the book through Amazon’s self-publishing service and had already sold more than 30 copies in the first three days of sale.

And she noted the feeling she felt when she realised it wasn’t just friends and families buying her work.

Michaela finished: “It is so hard to explain the feelings that come every time you see somebody has ordered, knowing that some people that are ordering don’t even know me, they’ve just seen my work online.

“I just feel happy and the feedback and the reviews I have been getting have been incredible, so it is just a huge boost of confidence and self-esteem to see that – I can do it.”