Wow. I’ve been spending a lot of time researching comparable and competitive titles as I prepare to publish my memoir. The first pool I dipped my toe into was general memoir. There seems to be no shortage of writers wanting to tell their version of the dash between birth and an end date. In order to narrow the field, I searched for mental health memoirs. Apparently, there are a lot of those as well. I concentrated on bipolar survivors.
Sadly, many of these writers are not in a good place. I get it. The nature of the illness is episodic and unpredictable. It’s very difficult to maintain the levels of concentration and consistency required to produce a book-length manuscript for anybody. To do so while battling bipolar disorder is much more challenging. I have fought through many years of illness, apathy, self-doubt and purple prose to finally produce a substantive draft. It’s not quite finished, but it’s close.
With the explosion of self-publishing, there are books out there that give the sub-genre of bipolar memoir a bad name. I found indecipherable titles, typos in the subtitles, tales of woe and miracle cures. It’s no wonder traditional publishing routes and agents give the vast majority of these books a loud and clear “no.”
I don’t have an axe to grind about people trying to produce a good book or tell their story. It’s what makes the literary world turn. I wish there were more writers well enough to write books and blogs about bipolar/mental wellness. There is a dearth of hopeful narratives coherently describing long term success. If you have any blog or current book title recommendations matching my parameters, I’d love to hear about them. Feel free to leave me a comment.
It’s a new year. I want to start it out by diving in and taking risks. I don’t intend to offend anyone. I just want to read your best work and raise the bar for all of us.