What to do when you’re writing a book inspired by your mental illness and you’re having issues coping
I feel like I’m at confessional! You see I’m having a bit of a meta-cognizant moment here. I’ve written a book inspired by my mental illness and here I am having a rocky patch with it during this time. I guess it was bound to happen. All the stress and planning that this is taking plus other unforeseen circumstances (mainly the boyfriend’s rock climbing accident – i.e. broke back and the puppy, as I’ve mentioned before) are taking its toll on me.
I’m at the point where I have my first draft back from my editor and my anxiety is rolling on high. It’s hella challenging doing these edits! I’m sure my anxiety and OCD are making it worse but tracking changes made by my editor and also making judgement calls for writing style (her corrections versus my original writing) is exhausting. It takes me nearly two hours to do a chapter. And it all has me second guessing the quality of my work and if it’s good enough to put out there. Now my editor has assured me it is but I’m still worried. Plus the added bonus of reading a story inspired by my true story can be scary at times. I read passages and experience things all over again.
It’s also been strange this long-term planning that needs to happen. I’ve never had a project be so far into the future and had to plan accordingly. It’s nice in a way but also adds this extra stress. My birthday just passed last week and Christmas is coming up but those are pushed aside with book stuff that needs to happen in time for the release.
I have made one decision today however and I think it’s a good one. I’ve decided not to pursue other book blogs/websites asking for book cover art announcements to be done for A Hidden Life. I will do my cover art release on this website (Tuesday November 26th) next week Tuesday and that will be it. Right now my focus is organizing the launch party in February and doing my editing. I will soon also be contacting websites to be part of a blog tour for the book, as well as giveaways and reviews.
Taking on too much has always been a trend in my life and a contributor to my illness. And I think this is a situation where I need to recognize that and prioritize. This is at least something I can skip that I don’t think will severely impact the outcome of my novel, better yet it may help me give readers a better product in the end.