As you may or may not know, I am having a book published. A Sad and Sorry State of Disorder – a journey into Borderline Personality Disorder (and out the other side) is due for publication on 21st June 2017.
This is amazing. Incredible. Fantastic. A dream come true… all of that. But there are some things I didn’t think through, and now I am thinking them I fear it is too late!
When I started to send out my manuscript to publishers, I realised that I had not thought certain – obvious – pitfalls through: The waiting to hear back; the paranoia when it takes ‘too long’; the overwhelming sense of rejection when I am – erm – rejected; the feeling of utter uselessness and pointlessness because my book is rubbish and will never be published.
All of that, and more. And even when a publisher had accepted I still had (have) moments of ‘oh shit they’ve changed their minds’ because I haven’t heard from the editor in 3 days. I didn’t think any of this through, when I first sent my book off. I was just full of an intense pride and excitement – pure BPD style, if you know what I mean! I didn’t really think anything through at that stage.
So now, I’m at the stage where my book is undergoing some form of editorial process. I haven’t heard from the publishers all week (!), but I am managing to believe it is still happening. And as such, I find myself compelled to look at the next list of ‘Things I didn’t think through’.
Basically the book is about me and my journey to learn to live with, and manage, borderline personality disorder. It has some of my poems in it, and it has a whole load of me bearing my soul and telling the reader exactly who I am. What was I thinking? I ask myself, seriously – what? People I know may read this, and know more about me than is ever societally normal to know – very un-British I’m sure. People I don’t know may read this and wonder who the hell I think I am to be writing a book like this.
People might not like the book. Shit, people might not even buy the book to like or otherwise. But supposing they buy it and they hate it, or think it’s weak, or badly written, or just plain boring or… the possibilities of negative are endless here. And this is what I really didn’t think through. Will I be reading reviews in July that wipe every smug air of achievement and pride from my lopsided smile? Will I be ashamed to leave the safe confines of my house and show my face in public?
I was pleased with how I have learned to manage my BPD, and writing a book that focusses on my journey consolidated this. And yet suddenly I feel I am thrown back in time and my progress is not all I imagined it to be.
These are the things I did not think through, and to be honest, I’m glad I didn’t!
Had I thought this far ahead I doubt very much that I would have had the courage to submit my book to publishers. I would probably have kept my book close to my chest, wishing that it was good enough for a publisher to believe in, and feeling wholly miserable that I would never amount to much as a writer. As it is, I took a leap of faith (albeit impulse driven) and it has paid off – so far. Thinking things through has its place, and impulses sometimes need reigning in, but in this particular instance I think they made a good but somewhat sneaky swap.
So now I am doing all I can to ‘be in the moment’ (I always feel ridiculously patronised when people use this phrase to try to help me, and yet here I am bandying it around with my own free will!) I am constantly having to remind myself to try and enjoy the process of the editing/publishing phase, and to accept that this is actually happening; nobody is about to spring out of a box and cackle ‘April Fool!’ at me (they’re not, are they?)
I am taking each day at a time. Sometimes each hour at a time when needs must. I am trying to look less at my phone, refresh my emails less, and just revel in the fact that somebody (Jessica Kingsley Publishers) is willing to take the risk and invest in what I have written.
I am taking the smallest of steps into the greatest of adventures, one tiny step at a time. And when I am not worrying about all the things I didn’t think through, I am basking in the glory of being an almost published author!
ps. What if no one likes my blog? I didn’t think that through either!
In case you were wondering, my book A Sad and Sorry State of Disorder – a Journey into Borderline Personality Disorder (and out the other side) is available for pre-order.