An editor claimed my memoir was actually literary nonfiction and needed to be marketed like a novel. He said it was in the league of The Bell Jar.
This makes sense because I wanted to write a good story that hooked readers. I'm first of all a writer who knew when she was seven years old that she wanted to be a writer. I'm not someone who wrote a memoir because she had a gimmick and had come lately to the publishing table. I always knew I wanted to publish books and indeed after my two nonfiction books are published I will begin to write fiction. Which I must have some natural talent for as that's how I wrote the memoir: as a work of literary nonfiction according to the editor.
I can cross him off the list as he has not offered to edit the book proposal or query letter. He was a true professional though because he took a look at them and gave me his honest feedback for free. Tomorrow I contact the second editor who returned my e-mail and wants me to call him in the morning.
This opens a world of possibilities for marketing and selling the book beyond the recovery market. I trust no one wants to read about the symptoms and the dysfunction for 300 pages and then find out at the end that the person didn't recover. Where's the hope in that kind of story?
I certainly don't buy such books when you can check them out of the library for free. Hell-and-heartache stories are easy enough to come by: just go down to the local gin mill or attend a support group. No no no: a memoir should uplift and inspire or else I'm not going to plunk down my hard-earned cash on it.
At this point in my life I don't want my claim to fame to be that I recovered from schizophrenia and certainly not in the future when I'll have other mountains to move.
Life beckons. A life outside the four walls. I don't know what tomorrow will bring I can only rise up to meet it. With the courage and confidence to re-invent myself yet again at key points. I'm entranced with the idea of inventing a new persona or at least an improved version of myself. Thus the lyrics to "Into a Swan" are the soundtrack to these coming changes.
Having schizophrenia should be beside the point.
I will tell you now and I will tell you always to set the bar.
There's no shame in achieving things even if some people would try to bring you down.
My friend tells me to be proud I live la vida loca and not to settle for less.
Rise up. Lift yourself up.
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