Thursday, August 30, 2012

Shall I Publish a Book?

I have loved to write for as long as I can remember. Somewhere in the far back stretches of my mind, I've always dreamt about writing a book. When I was younger, say youth and teen years, I assumed that if this ever came to fruition, it would be a novel. Probably because until I was in my mid-20s, that's primarily what I read. I also truly didn't ever think I'd write a book, so it was ok to let my mind get carried away with the idea, as my mind tends to do.

As my 20s slipped away, I began writing increasingly more - I don't think there was a connection, other than perhaps my no longer being married, and hence having more time to write. It became apparent to me that I infuse my personality so much into everything I do that there's no way I could write a novel, and to be honest, the desire to write purely fiction rather all but ceased. A fact based fiction maybe, but never a full on novel. It's just not my style to create something totally different from myself and write about it for x-hundred number of pages. I envy those that have this level of creativity.

About two years ago my best friend and I joked that I should write a book about my dating/relationship life, substituting names and rearranging some situations of course - it wouldn't be an exact autobiography. Without going into detail, my "love life" has been quite the experience. Never a dull moment for sure. Just for fun, I started just writing a few pages here and there, but I didn't even make it past the age of 21 before I realized that this wasn't the subject for a book that I wanted. There were numerous reasons, not the least of which was respect for others' privacy and the fact that hindsight is always 20/20. It's honestly tough for me to write about something that's not happening right now.

When I started opening up about my condition and my journey, I briefly wondered if it would be a good book topic. I'd read the book An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison, about her life with full-blown bipolar disorder. It was interesting and inspiring, and while what I would write most certainly wouldn't be in the same league, the notion of writing about my mood disorder did appeal to me.  A big goal of mine in this process is to not only tell my story, but to raise awareness and education others about mood disorders, and also to show others that may be struggling with similar issues that it's ok to open up about them.  So the idea of writing a book on this did tempt me. Still, I didn't do any more than wonder about it . I think I'm intimated by it being compared to other books on similar topics, and I don't want to seem like a copycat. I know that might be silly, but it's the truth.

The other day, though, the thought randomly hit me - with all of the options for self-publishing ebooks these days, what if I compiled my blogs here into some sort of ebook? It would be snippets of the various aspects of my life and my experiences, and in doing so perhaps even encourage others to share their story. Oddly, that same day, a friend of mine whose opinion I value very much, told me that she thought I should compile my blogs into a book. I thought, "wow, serendipitous". I'd never mentioned the idea of compiling my posts to anyone.

So, my question is two fold. First, what do you think? Let me be clear that I'm not planning on this being a best seller and retiring on the profits. I plan pretty much on doing it for my own satisfaction and it maybe being interesting enough for my family and best friends to purchase, if it even has a price attached. I'm not sure how self-published ebooks work price-wise. Secondly, to that specific point, how does one even go about doing this? Does anyone have any suggestions or experience with such a thing? Are there recommendations for sites/resources for doing this? I'm honestly clueless when it gets to this part of the "plan."

I'd absolutely love your feedback. Even writing this post gives me a decent amount of anxiety, in case people say, "no, awful idea!" (or something slightly nicer but with the same underlying message). But I'm working on overcoming my fears of embarrassment and rejection, and not letting them hold me back. So thoughts and suggestions, both yay and nay, are truly welcome! 


  1. Thanks, Melissa! It's now about figuring out the details, the what, and then when. I'm thinking it might be an early 2013 project.