I wrote this post in January, 2014, which seems like a lifetime ago. It was before I received my all-time favorite birthday gift.
I’ve been sick the past couple days with a nasty cold/cough…
While I’ve been stuck in bed, I revisited some of my oldest blog posts. Is My Book Worthy of Being Published? & More caught my eye. I wanted to share a revised edition of the post, and I hope you enjoy it!
These days I’m focusing on writing blog posts rather than completing my memoir. Unfortunately when I write blog posts I feel like I’m “cheating” on my book, if that makes any sense! Oh well – I could have worse problems, right?
Apart from feeling like I’m a cheater, I go through fits and starts about whether or not I even have a story worth publishing.
For those of you writing books, do you feel the same way?
On the one hand, I would’ve appreciated reading a book about my particular diagnosis. As of now, there’s no book I can find that specifically addresses postpartum bipolar disorder. If that continues to be the case, it’s a blessing in disguise, since I want my book to stand out in the sea of ubiquitous bipolar memoirs.
Oftentimes when a writer covers a particular unusual topic, another writer halfway across the world (or even down the street) is writing about the same specialized subject This happened with my husband’s book about a West Coast aviation pioneer named John J. Montgomery, a contemporary of the Wright Brothers. In all honesty Craig’s book was far superior than the other book in terms of writing quality. 😉 Additionally, Craig is John J. Montgomery’s great, great nephew, and he had access to amazing primary sources that no one else had.
Team Harwood prepping a case Craig’s books with protective plastic covers. The girls will sell them at his next book talk, a benefit for the Friends of the Library. Craig’s still in demand for presentations although his book was published in 2012! He has only had a few people fall asleep during his talks – one snored very loudly.
At this point, I’m in too deep to renounce finishing Birth of a New Brain, so I’m going to keep plugging away.
When I wind down in the evening, I search my Kindle Fire’s Store using the keyword “bipolar”. Then I select the “Recently published” sort. I do a separate search and sort for “postpartum”.
I’ve noticed that more and more bipolar disorder and postpartum-related books are being published. (Note: This trend is much stronger now than it was in 2014!)
I can tell at a glance that most of the bipolar-themed books I spot in the Kindle Store are unimpressive. Just from reading these books’ descriptions I notice the writing is inferior. To be blunt, these books (which are sometimes less than 40 pages long, yet sport titles such as All About Bipolar Disorder!) simply don’t contain many redeeming qualities!
At 39 pages, I doubt this book is comprehensive. I sure as hell wouldn’t want Dr. Morrison for my doctor!
Let me tell you all, quack, about, quack, quack, bipolar disorder!!!
Other books appear to be personal journals rather than books meticulously crafted for the public. (I know this because out of sheer curiosity I download free samples of those books; I love Kindle’s sample feature!)
Why do these observations motivate me to continue writing my book? Well, I might have just flamed the inferior quality of 90% of what gets published, but I do admire those writers for their chutzpah – for “just doing it”. If they can do it, why can’t I?
Through my Kindle searches I also notice which publishers release mental health books, and then I dream of landing a publisher specializing in mental health issues such as New Harbinger (Update: they soundly rejected me) or Hay House.
When I feel down about taking forever to get my book done, I think of my husband Craig. His award-winning book Quest for Flight (University of Oklahoma Press) took seven years to write while he also worked full-time and was hit with my bipolar disorder illness, seven hospitalizations, and other crises. He wrote for fifteen minutes a day, usually before the rest of the family got up to distract him.
I love the cover!
I don’t want to take seven more years to finish Birth of a New Brain, but witnessing Craig’s slow, steady and successful path ha helped fire me up to continue writing my blog and return to working on my book soon.
Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder will be published by Post Hill Press in Fall, 2017.