Is My Book Worthy of Being Published & More Redux

ImageI 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. 

UnknownOn a related note, I have a hobby that inspires me to not give up writing my book .  

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.


31 thoughts on “Is My Book Worthy of Being Published & More Redux

    • Thanks so much!!! 💖 It’s a little bit like running an ultramarathon, or being pregnant for almost a decade! 😉

  1. Follow your instincts, D. Can’t go wrong. I love the writer defined as “transforming caffeine into books”. Keep your sense of humor though it all. We’ll be watching. 💕

    • I will follow your wise words!

      I’m transforming Oregon Chai into the book today! 😉

      I usually drink coffee or espresso, but I’ve been craving chai – especially chai mixed with espresso and chocolate, as I wrote about so gushingly in the last post- true bliss!

      Love your support and the emojis!
      💖✏️💜👏💙 & of course this one:

  2. As I read your Blog this AM Dyane. I started to experience pseudo labor pains. No not from my recent surgery but from my memory bank. Almost forty ….. years ago I gave birth to a little girl. Her daddy gave me a golden heart inscribed with tge words… Thank you for our beautiful baby girl and I have worn it around my neck all these years.
    That was you my dear daughter and we have been so proud of you ever since. Keep plugging away at your book and soon it too will be born. Happy Birthday!

  3. As I sit here reading your post, I feel guilty that I’m not working on my novel (it’s a mystery.) I took a break from blogging to focus on the novel, but I missed blogging so much I’m back. I think both are fine, but I’m finding blogging is taking more time than I should allow. I’m working on balance, but I’m not there yet.

    • Bradley, it is hard, especially when you start reading and commenting on other blogs. It can consume you and your time. Why I read so few others nowadays, but I end up feeling guilty.

    • I have a very strong feeling you’ll get to that state of balance, Bradley – some days will be better than others, but I know you will return to your mystery novel!!!! :)))

      Thanks for taking time to stop by & have a good weekend!

  4. Yes, your book is worthy of being published! Let go of worrying about writing quality. Draft it. Get an editor. Then you’ll polish it. You articulate that the hormonal changes of pregnancy and childbirth and the stress of parenting a newborn (sleep deprivation, anyone?) can change brain chemistry, specifically that those events can trigger bipolar disorder. Keep it up. Maybe structure some time off social media. Set aside those 15 or more minutes at a time for book writing only. Hard to do, I know.

    • Thank you, Kitt. I will be assigned an Post Hill Press-affiliated editor once I turn in the MS in the fall, but of course I want to make the MS as good as possible before I turn it on. Some writers hire private editors before they work with their publisher or even before they send out their queries, and it’s an option – I’m not sure about that yet! Cost would be a concern too.

      I was improving in terms of working daily on the book….that is, until both my girls got sick last week. One or the other have stayed home every day, then I got sick too! Drat!

      Hoping to get back in the swing of things today and also cut down on social media time too. After taking that long Facebook hiatus, I know I can do it! 😉

      So grateful for your support, insights & Unicorn Youtube humor – I loved that clip so much!!!! It’s important to keep a sense of humor going during such challenging times, and it made me happy to see that side of you. My girls ate it up too! XOXOXO

      • The lightheartedness of Jenni Chiu’s video on unicorn horn hair and her challenge for me to show her my concept of using the style for my bangs inspired me. I have a few writing and video “To Do’s” that I’ve promised others but haven’t gotten around to. Been a bit busy, as you know.

  5. I’ll bet it’s worthy! How did you learn how to write? Education, or are you just a natural?

    How’s the illness today? Have you been to the Dr?


    • I still feel sick but it’s getting better – I saw the doctor on Monday and if this thing doesn’t go away over the weekend, I guess I’ll force myself back in to see her – at least she’s cool! 🙂 As far as the writing – both through various undergrad writing classes (I majored in English & American literature), through a few workshops, and mostly through sitting down and doing it! :)) Sending you a big hug and hope you have a great weekend too, Brenda! Thanks for your wonderful encouragement & kindness – that epitomizes why I want to blog! 💗

      • You’re welcome! I’m so impressed with your skills! I wish I had had my head on straight when I was in college. I didn’t. And I drank (medicated) my way through both degrees, as well as life in general. I had no clue what was going on and am still trying to figure it out. Oh well. LOL I know I’ll get there eventually. So glad you’re doing at least somewhat better! Hugs!

  6. I for one am looking forward to that book. 🙂 I also think that blogging while writing is not “cheating”–it can be an awesome way to get the creative juices flowing or to try out early versions of ideas for the book.

    • Hi Penelope, and thanks so much for reading the post & for wanting to read my book. :)))

      I definitely agree with you about how blogging can “prime the writing pump”, so to speak. Feeling like I’m cheating on the book by writing blog posts is kind of silly. Bradley also admitted he feels the same way about his blog and his mystery novel, so I know I’m not the only one.

      I post once a week because it’s not too overwhelming and it keeps me connected to my blogosphere friends. I know bloggers who share short excerpts of a WIP all the way to their entire book, but I’m not ready to share anything yet. What I have is still very much a super duper sandpaper rough draft! Hopefully at some point I can share some excerpts.

      Take care & I hope you have a great Friday night!

  7. Oh, Honey Pot, being sick just throws a shroud of doubt and woe over everything. Your book is worthy. What you have to say needs to be heard. Just keep at it. Rest when you need to. You want to be spiffy for your upcoming birthday!

    Love and big hugs,


  8. Often when physical health is low it lowers one’s mental/emotional resilience. Self-doubt creeps in and self-confidence takes a knock. You have got this. It will come together seamlessly. One word at a time, one sentence, one paragraph; 15 minutes here, 3 hours there. You get what you give out. And you give so much of yourself to the world, with love, encouragement and affirmation, I have absolutely no doubt of your imminent success

    • Thank you SO much for this comment. Wow – it’s so nice to read it, especially this afternoon when I feel like shit and can’t taste. (Yeah, it’s a sinus infection. I have a neti pot and a squeeze bottle, but I’m not desperate enough to use them yet!!! I will tonight.)

      I have an idea. Let’s re-name you “Stephen P. King” or “Anne B. Rice” and have you blurb my book cover so not-the-sharpest-knife potential buyers think you’re the big muckety muck 😉 !!!!! 😉

      I’m always insecure when it comes to writing, but I’m going for it anyway. I have a bizarre drive that’s basically making me do it, otherwise I’d sit on my butt, eat and read or watch “Fringe” and “How to Get Away with Murder” all day.

      Your comment truly helps me – I’ll think of it when I’m feeling particularly low. I can’t thank you enough. Why are all the coolest people in South Africa???????

      • LMAO !!!! Thanks for thinking I’m cool =D =D

        It’s understandable to feel insecure when it comes to writing. It’s a personal, intimate part of ourselves that we share with the whole world. But what I said is the truth, so take it, embrace it and let it fuel your drive ❤ Whoohooo go Dyane!

  9. Wow I love this post! Considering the quality of blogposts you write, you are going to do an extraordinarily fine job! You are a perfectionist and that is how you will write your book. Love you, in your corner! 💞💞💞💞

    • Thank you soooooooo much for writing this, Samina. I often wish that there was an IW “Boost” pill I could take (for Insecure Writers) but your comment is beautifully uplifting for my soul & confidence, and it’s even free of pesky side-effects! Thanks again for making my day! 💖

  10. In answer to your question about whether I, as a writer of books, feel like I’m “cheating” on my book when I write blog posts: yes. Partly it’s because I want to be a better fiction writer, and writing a blog post isn’t the same as writing fiction (even short fiction). And partly it’s because I don’t enjoy blogging nearly as much as novel-writing.

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