Riding the waves between the devil and the deep blue sea

It seems that I have turned the corner out of depression, but we are by no means out of the woods yet.

As my fellow Bipolars (and those who love us) know, once we clamber up out of the trough of depression, there’s always the potential for a hypomanic or mixed episode awaiting us at the peak of the wave.

All of us have our “little things” that we tend to do when hypomanic.  Some spend money foolishly.  Some get hypersexual.  Some get irritable,  and might even get into fights.

I write.

Now, you would think that would be a good, productive way to work with hypomanic energy.  I think that most of the time, it is.

The trouble  I get into with writing is that I write about (and publish) things that I would never have the guts to do when depressed.  And  I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing.  I’ve only been fired over it once, and that was a job I was fed up with anyway.

Here’s the thing.  I need feedback from you, my readers,  my friends,  my fellow travelers.

I have written a very disturbing piece, more so than the one you may already know about, that appears in this Blog.  It is a graphic narrative of an event in my life, a very terrible event.  The telling of it comprises the first chapter of my memoir.  I’be been working on it for 20 years, and I finally have this chapter where I want it.

My question for you is:  should I start publishing these chapters here on Bipolar for Life, or should I start a new Blog dedicated solely to the book?

Leave a comment


  1. I don’t have any recommendations here because it really depends on your goals and plans. But another option is holding it back for the book and keeping us all in suspense. Not that I’m not curious to see it, but it might be a good strategy to consider. 🙂

    • I’m wondering whether posting the book in serial form might be a good way to attract a publisher. What do you think?

      • I’m not sure – samples might help attract a publisher, but there’s also the potential that it would be a “cat out of the bag” situation. Of course, there are also examples of distributing free versions that don’t necessarily undercut book sales (Lawrence Lessig’s Free Culture, for which it’s sort of an ethical thing too.)

        It seems like something to look up (there are likely writer’s publication guides that address this issue) or even contact a publisher about it just to make sure you don’t reduce the saleability of the manuscript.

      • Good advice, Chickadee. I appreciate your input!

      • Laura, you need to look into how publishing large segments of your story will effect first publishing rights. Many publishing houses do have issues with this. Although I write romance and follow romance publishing for the most part, I do know that people have been rejected on this basis.

  2. I’d say, start it here and if it gets too big, dedicate a seperate blog to it. I do look forward to reading it.

    • Thanks, Lulu. It’s really pretty scary stuff. I’ve already written a lot of it. A bit scared to publish it, because it will really put me out on a limb, but maybe that’s where I need to be.

      • Where would you put it besides out there? It needs a place, and I’m not sure you want it to live with you alone. I tremble a little sometimes when I go to hit the “publish” button. But, mine didn’t fit, tucked away inside of volumes of lined journals.

        I suspect yours is much the same. So why not?

      • Why not? The only real reason would be that it’s its own story. It needs to be out there, in searchable form, and I wonder if it might get lost in this Blog here, which I hope to devote to mostly bipolar topics. My story is of course an outgrowth of the state of being bipolar. But it centers around what can happen to a young bipolar girl who is neglected and abused and abandoned to the streets. Different key words and search terms apply. And yet it is still me.

        • You’re right. Dedicate a blog to it. There is nothing wrong with having multiple blog projects. That’s why wordpress set it up so that you can have multiple blogs without multiple accounts.

  3. I’m the dissenting voice. Everything inside of me is screaming out, Laura, don’t put it up here! Don’t put it up anywhere! You have finally gotten it where you want it, please, please don’t let outside influence change that.

    But then another voice (I know I said ‘everything’ above, and in the moment this voice wasn’t there, I have lots of them within me, and they tend to wander in and out at will) patiently says, Ruby, don’t go by what you feel solely. What you feel is very unusual in most circumstances. If Laura wants some feedback, let her get it. Of course she won’t change the fundamental nature of a project so very important to her.

    So make that the dissenting voices, plural. 😉

    • I do love it when the voices in my head start arguing together, don’t you LOL ? My voices can’t figure out what to do on this either.

      My research into publishers is turning up that for first books they always want a completed manuscript. Then it’s imperative to have an agent, as major publishers will not look at unsolicited manuscripts. And I need an external source of anxiety (my internal sources are not sufficient) to keep me going on a project. I don’t know, just don’t know. really really want to finish this book. It might be too scary to do alone. And I’m not sure I want to expose other people to my nightmare, either. Then again, I have a feeling that it’s not just MY nightmare… And that is why I’m wondering if it might possibly be helpful to others who are keeping silent, like me, if they knew they were not alone. All these voices, such a small skull.

      • I don’t know so much from the world of publishing. What I do know is that in my short time blogging, I have gone from restrained to brutally honest to hovering at truth. And I have received so many inspiring, uplifting comments (about how I am inspiring and uplifting, which I am still trying to puzzle out) from people who are grateful to read my words and know that they are not alone.

        And it has helped to heal me, Laura. I would like to think it would do the same for you. But you have always to take into account the fact that people may not be able to read through the darker parts of your struggle. I don’t honestly know what to say on that one. My struggle has been very extreme, but I don’t know that my writings have ever been dark. I don’t think so. Different people can read through different things.

        (And believe it or not, that’s all pretty much one centralized voice, that’s just Ruby talking, Ruby who can argue for you pretty much every side to every argument. Yeesh. No wonder my mother needed to send me to preschool so very badly!)

        Good answer, right? 🙂

      • I think it depends on what publishing houses you are looking at as to whether they will look at unsolicited manuscripts. Granted I don’t know much about non-fiction publishing, but there are smaller presses that do take unsolicited manuscripts or have open calls telling you what they are looking for. Also, there is the concept of self-publishing. That takes an investment in both money and time, though.

  4. You know, I actually came over here to let you know I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Your willingness to speak about your situation and ability to make facts more accessible is a wonderful thing. This is one of those awards that you can ignore or carry on. 🙂 If you want to, my nomination and rules are here:

    • Thank you so much! I’m really touched that you appreciate my blog. It’s a labor of love for me, like it is for all of us “bipolar bloggers.” I’ll see if I can muster the energy to do the work….please don’t be offended if it takes me forever or if I just can’t get it together…

  5. So indecisive aren’t we? I am terribly indecisive. Nut whatever you decide–whether its withheld until a publisher gets it or whether you open up a dedicated blog to it–I will look forward to reading. 🙂 I wish had advise or something better to say, but I’m even having trouble myself on deciding whether to continue writing here. I’m actually thinking I may learn from your experience with this publishing deal. 😉

  6. Oh I do have something. Maybe, if a publisher tells you lost First Publishing Rights because you blogged portions of it, then you could look into First Electronic Rights. Just a little nugget.

  7. bpshielsy

     /  March 23, 2012

    Hi Laura,

    Whatever you decide to do, please let us know on this blog what you decide to do. I’d personally love to hear your story.

    I don’t know much about publishing, but my advice after reading all the comments here would be to get some professional advise on publishing, before you decide anything.

    I’m sure you were planning to anyway, but it would be frustrating to have other people tell you can’t write this or that because you’ve already done this or that.

    Good luck with it

    • Thank you! What you’ve said here is both encouraging and wise. I’m thinking that what I may do is to use the blog format to work the story from its present extremely spotty state of finish to a more cohesive form, and use that form to dive into final manuscript off-line, thereby avoiding the pitfalls that have been pointed out regarding first-published-wherever issues. Does that make any sense? I’m getting fired up about it, though. It’s spring, sap is rising and so are my creative juices.

  8. bpshielsy

     /  March 23, 2012

    Yeah that makes sense, I think 🙂

    I too have that spring, “new lease of life feeling”…exciting times


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