Realistically, How Much is my Memoir Worth?

What Do I Charge for my Memoir?

I am at a crossroads. The self-publishing game is full of a plethora of information and no definitive answer–what does one charge for a work such as my memoir?

I have read that charging too much will turn readers away. At the same time, to really begin to fund some of the projects that I want to do with my fellow mental illness suffers I need to make some profit on this work.

I want to ask the community, what is a realistic price to charge for my memoir?

As with most writers, I want to make a decent living at this writing thing, and that means knowing what works and what doesn’t when it comes to pricing. I am ready for self-publishing and the excitement to finally share with the world what I have been working towards since 2017 is at an all-time high.

I always appreciate the thoughts of my fellow writers, bloggers, and mental health sufferers for the entire process of writing my memoir. What are your thoughts, please let me know in the comments.

Always Keep Fighting

James

The Bipolar Writer Needs Your Help!

As some of you know (and others don’t) I am ready to publish my memoir! Seriously. I have edited and moved chapters around, and I honestly believe that I prepared for this next step. I have a great cover and manuscript. The issue? Do I self-publish or try to find a publisher?

I have done a lot of research, and I found a company to publish the physical copy of my book. I have watched endless videos on self-publishing on Amazon and other online self-publications. What is right? What is wrong?

I want to do this right because this is my first official novel (and though its non-fiction and I consider myself a fiction novelist) this is important to my brand and me. My memoir The Bipolar Writer is so important to me, so I want to do this right and not rush into something I will regret. I will admit that I am apprehensive about where to go. I thought self-publishing was the right path, but I have doubts. I am turning to my family (YOU) for any advice you can give me.

James

unsplash-logoRémi Walle

unsplash-logorawpixel

Influences in Writing from The Bipolar Writer

This is not a typical post from The Bipolar Writer, but I wanted to talk about something that seems to come up a lot recently–my writing influences.

The Influences in my Writing

For those that don’t know, I started working on my master’s in October. I am staying within the same area that I was working on with my bachelor’s degree–Creative Writing and English.

The beginning parts focus a lot on finding out what kind of writer I am, learning to read like a writer, and the most important the influences of my own writing. When it comes to reading books I have no specific genre that I conform to, I am happy reading anything from Modernism to Romanticism; I am a fan of literature in general. When it comes to my influences in actual writing I am more defined.

Perhaps the most significant influence in my writing is the works of Edgar Allan Poe (in honor of Poe I used Edgar in my pseudonym James Edgar Skye.) My favorite era in literature is Romanticism, and more specifically I am enamored by Dark Romanticism.

There is not a poem, short story or works of fiction that I am not amazed by the way that Poe writes. I consider Poe one of the most significant wordsmiths of all time. What I am always in awe when I read a piece of his writing and my favorite, of course, is The Raven. That is why as influencers come in my writing I write my fiction in darker Dark Romanticism or at least a more modern version of this sub-genre.

The other influences of my writing come from some of my favorite authors. There is Rowling, King, George R.R. Martin, and James Patterson just to name a few. I identify the most with Ernest Hemingway as a writer, and given his personal history, it makes sense, but his influence can also be found in my fictional writing. The way that Hemingway wrote in succinct and hard prose always drew me to his work, and his novels seemed to be influenced by his personal history. The Sun Also Rises to me is perhaps one of the greatest 20th-century novels to ever be written. I could say that for any of Hemingway’s literary works.

I conder myself a decent writer and I am right there when it comes to being a legit writer. I am still finding myself as a fictional writer, I have the non-fiction voice down, so I will be working towards finding my place in the writing world. I know my future is in fantasy fiction/supernatural and this certainly where my next novel is going.

What prompted this blog post is that I thought that in 2019 I would spend some time talking about writing. It was the original goal of this blog, and while I talk about it every now and writing in my life is so vital to my mental health. I am happiest when I am writing.

What are some of your writing influences? I’d like to hear from my fellow writer bloggers.

Always Keep Fighting

James

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoKelly Sikkema

unsplash-logorawpixel

unsplash-logoMikhail Pavstyuk

Defining the Next Step

Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality. – Edgar Allan Poe

Please use this link to donate

What’s Next?

max-nelson-748765-unsplash

I am always thinking about what is next for me. I am close to the end of my first year since starting The Bipolar Writer blog (I will be writing an anniversary piece that will be featured on the one year anniversary.) So what is next?

My memoir is in limbo as I am still in search for the right artist that can capture what I want in a cover. The cover is the most important part next to the story when you self-publish. It needs to be right.

I think my next project in the meantime will be starting a new screenplay. I have some ideas of where that would go. I have been working on the beginnings of the story of one of my favorite video games. Getting back to creative writing would be great. It has been a while as I am working on my memoir– a non-fiction piece of work. I also recently began to redo chapters in the novel version of my first screenplay (I kinda did that one backward.) Writing is just something that I need to get back to normal.

elijah-o-donell-760367-unsplash.jpg

Writing is what I do best, and it really is where I feel my best. I have less than a month before starting my Master’s programs, and I could really get the first act of my next creative work, while at the same time I can work towards finding my artist, finally publishing my memoir, and of course, creating new content here on The Bipolar Writer blog.

Always Keep Fighting (AKF)

James Edgar Skye

Please use this link to donate

Photo Credit:

Andrew Neel

Max Nelson

Elijah O’Donell

A Goodbye to 2017

What a year its been for me. I have been through some of the worst anxiety and depression episodes that life can throw at me, and yet here I am. I have grown so much in the last year and for the first time in my life, I can say that I am moving forward.

I started this blog “The Bipolar Writer” back in September and the changes that I have gone through by sharing pieces of my life has been the best thing to ever happen to me. It got me writing full time again.

I have met the most amazing community on WordPress of people just like me working to tell their story.

I got to see my first screenplay Memory of Shane go from just a dream to completion this year. It’s entered in a student competition that I hope to win. Or at the very least get my name out there as an artist. My screenplay has given me new life to write the novel version of the story. Completing my screenplay opened up the possibility for me to share my own experiences, and it became my blog.

angelo-pantazis-180828.jpg

I finally found my courage in writing my blog to finally start to write my memoir, which also titled “The Bipolar Writer.” I am nearing a real first draft. It has been real to share my journey here with The Bipolar Writer blog and I am looking forward to sharing all of my stories.

I have found how therapeutic writing can really be.

I am closer to my goal of finishing my degree, and I have just a few more months before this dream becomes a real reality. It has been a journey the last few years to get this close. There were so many times that I thought it might not happen even in 2017. At one point took a semester off in the Spring of this year, and I almost didn’t go back. But I keep working towards my goals and I persevered.

It wasn’t always good this year. The stress and pressure of completing my screenplay (which I did) landed me in the hospital in February with really bad bleeding ulcers. Since then my issues with my stomach have gotten better and worse. It will be something to work towards in the new year in getting healthier.

2017 was the year of anxiety for me. I can’t count how many panic attacks have been the result of my anxiety levels reaching unimaginable heights. Since the first of January, I have been dealing with the severity of not really understanding the triggers of my social anxiety. I have over the past four months had a better understanding but I have a long way to go.

It amazes me in 2017 how many times I said my last panic attack was the worst one ever.

I said this at least ten different times this year. I finally, over the last month, got the first real change in my Ativan dosage and my anxiety is still there but the panic attacks have been fewer. That is a win in my book.

Where did 2017 really go? I honestly have no idea sometimes. It seems as if it was the longest year ever and at the same time, it went by so fast. It is always an amazing feeling to be through another year. Even though there were plenty of bad days, the successful days outweigh any negatives in my life.

I will write about my goals for 2018 in another post, but I have come so far. This blog means the world to me.

martin-shreder-349256.jpg

The people that comment and give me hope or advice every day mean the world to me. The connections I have made and the people that have given me their life stories to share on my blog are my reason to keep writing. It has helped me become a better writer, and at the same time, I have learned that every mental illness journey has its unique qualities.

I am going to miss 2017 because it was another year of growth. I got to my much important ten-year anniversary since my first suicide and diagnosis. I have written more this year than any year of my life. I can share my daily struggles with my fellow bloggers and get the real insight into how to better myself.

I have already said this, but I want to thank all of my fellow bloggers and followers that have made it possible for me to be a better writer and person.

So goodbye 2017. You have been an interesting year. I hope 2018 will be the best one yet.

brigitte-tohm-181096.jpg

James Edgar Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoAndrew Neel

unsplash-logoBrigitte Tohm

unsplash-logoAngelo Pantazis

unsplash-logoMartin Shreder

What Drives Me

I have a lot of things driving me at the moment. It’s the “why” when I first ask myself why should I get out of bed.

I have the sheer willpower to finish what I started. For this. It means finishing school. That means finally getting my degree. I want to feel the sense that I didn’t waste the time I have to spend on my degree. There were some bumpy roads, a couple of lost semesters along the way, but I am so close so it drives me.

The fact that in 2018 I will be starting my Master’s degree is a very big driving factor in my life.

The chance of getting my written work out there in the world drives me. I just entered a prestigious student screenwriting competition which could change the course of my writing, and finally, see Memory of Shane to completion to the point that it gets sold. I have had some interest but this competition is the key.

I am also excited, after taking a break in writing the novel version of Memory of Shane, to finally get this piece back on track.

I have this amazing blog that just reached its 2000th follower in just under four months over the weekend. I have grown as a writer so much on this blog, and I have learned so much from the mental illness community. We are so strong together helping one another.

I feel a part of the mental Illness community on WordPress, that’s I have a place to share my own experiences, so that they are willing to share theirs with me. I never imagined I get to go this place on my blog so quickly.

I have shared so much on my blog, and plan to do even more. That means posting at least two interview features week. I am writing two articles this week which has been an amazing experience and I am excited to share my writing with other people’s stories. When people trust me to share their story, it means the world to me and it drives me.

I am excited to be nearing the first draft of my memoir. I have worked so hard to get to the point where I have a good idea of where I am going with the project. The end game is the point of writing. It drives me every day to write or edit a chapter a day.

I have driven by my the need to continue to fight this great fight with anxiety and depression.

I am driven by the future and what it means for me over the course of 2018.

I am driven by the positive direction that I  am going on with my life.

I am driven by the failing health of my mother.

Life is unpredictable and we need things in our lives to keep moving forward and not looking back. If I have learned anything from this blog, it’s that what drives me the most is writing and sharing this experience with my fellow bloggers, and maybe those that just stumble upon my blog.

So I ask my fellow bloggers, what is driving you at the moment?

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: unsplash-logoPatrick Tomasso

Sorting Through my Recent Depression

The last few weeks have been a great test for how much my depression can affect my day and week. I have spent a lot of time recently tracking my mood especially my depression.

I worry about my effectiveness in my writing because as my depression has increased the last few weeks, I still have things to do on a daily basis. My school work is always a priority, I try to blog as much as possible, and of course my writing projects. I am amazed that I can do things as depressed as I have been lately.

It’s been a ride. So I thought about what is causing my depression. The changing of the season is one of the factors. I always get depressed at this time of year. But it goes deeper than seasonal affective disorder. I am really stressed about this time of year.

Just because I have passed my ten month anniversary yesterday, doesn’t mean all is well in my life. I am still stressed about so many upcoming things like completing my memoir which I have tirelessly been working towards the last three months.

My mind is filled with doubts because there are more things that I have to do, I need to grow my brand The Bipolar Writer and it means taking my blog to new levels. I am stressed that I am not ready to do what I need to do and as my depression grows deeper I worry there are not enough hours in the day.

I worry so much and the depression worsens by the minute. At night it can get so bad that I start to have bad panic attacks. I feel so lost at night and I have talked about how much I feel lost and alone.

I have been writing lately but it doesn’t feel right. I feel lethargic when I wake up, and even with coffee in my system, I am not as effective as I want to be. I think I could just give up right now, it would be so easy.

I want so bad to give into the depression. It would be so much easier. I could just lay in bed all day and not worry. I could let the depression take hold of me. It will make life easier. I wouldn’t have to fight for every inch of my life, and wouldn’t struggle every day. Sure the depression would still be there, but I could give in.

But, I made a commitment to do better and to keep writing no matter what comes my way. I know my depression is getting worse so I figure I can do the little things. More mindfulness breathing when I wake up and throughout the day. Meditation in the morning, during the day, and at night.

I can use my lightbox for longer each morning. I can combat my depression by writing more and stressing less. I will tell myself that everything happens for a reason. That I am worth all of it, and I am going to take The Bipolar Writer to new heights.

I could even smile more, smiles are so important. I don’t smile enough.

I can get back on a regular schedule where I wake up at a decent time and focus on getting down to being who I am, James the writer, The Bipolar Writer.

I have survived depression so bad that I wanted to end it all, and this depression is not on that level. I have survived three suicide attempts and I have learned so much on my journey that I know, I will continue to fight.

What are your thoughts? What are some of your triggers for depression and how do you deal with it?

J.E.Skye

P.S. I am still looking for testimonials for my blog. If you would like to write one send it to my email jamesedgarskye24@gmail.com with your testimonial, your blog site, and a picture to feature.

Photo Credit: Ian Espinosa

For the Love of Coffee

In my life, coffee and writing go hand in hand, so does coffee and reading.

There is nothing better than when that first sip of coffee hits your taste buds. The world changes. Everything comes into focus on all levels. I listen better. I feel as if nothing is out of reach. I feel as if I could write a million chapters in my novel. Yes, it’s just a temporary sugar high, but why not? Coffee is life.

This post is different than the ones I have written so far since creating this blog. I wanted it to be lighter, and about one of my favorite subjects.

As I sit here at Starbucks right now, I am thinking about the justifications of paying six dollars for a cup of coffee. When did coffee get so expensive? What I order of makes a big difference in why I pay so much.

Of course, I go all out when it comes to my caramel macchiato. I must get the almond milk. Extra charge! And there aren’t enough shots in it so, extra shot. Extra charge! Let’s make it extra hot (hey, they don’t charge extra for that!). It is no wonder that my therapist recommended no coffee after 12pm.

I think I can remember my first cup of coffee. I was maybe fourteen. The coffee was less than a 1.50, and at 7-11 if I remember it right. You always remember when that first taste of coffee changes your world.

Over the years, I have consumed more cups of coffee that I care to admit from a coffee pot. Lots of sugar and creamer. It always amazed me that you have powdered creamer and regular creamer that isn’t milk. Never been a fan of the first. Sugar always stays the same.

Now life is so complicated. Now they ask me do I want a latte or macchiato. Almond milk or soy milk. Hot. Cold. Frappuccino? There is always the classic cheaper option at Starbucks, the house blend black, no sugar or creamer. It costs less and it’s a great option for the struggling writer.

Then Starbucks goes and throws a curveball at me. They offer me a selection of fall and holiday drinks. My favorites are the chestnut praline latte and the gingerbread latte BTW.

The way that I justify spending six dollars on a cup of coffee is if my production that day is greater than the price. My production has been great lately so I can relish in this thought the output outweighs the price of consumption.

I don’t spend six dollars on a cup of coffee every day, but I do drink coffee daily. I usually have options in my refrigerator like cans of a double shot of Starbucks espresso, or the new sweetened black coffee that Starbucks offers in a glass bottle at my local grocery store. (I’m starting to sense a theme.)

I don’t know if my love for coffee is good or bad. But in my life, coffee is life. If this post seemed all over the place that was by design, it is a very Bipolar-esk written piece.

I’d like to know your thoughts about coffee, and if, for you, coffee is life.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: Nathan Dumlao

The History Behind Memory of Shane

I thought it was time to talk about my biggest project out there right now, my screenplay entitled Memory of Shane and its subsequent novel that I am writing. This story is really about two years in the making and since I am writing the novel version the idea continues to be ongoing.

The project started as a short story that I wrote for an advanced writing class about two years ago. I never imagined that I would write this story beyond this class because it was a good piece, and there were so many places I wanted to go with it, but the ten-page limit really made me believe that I was done. But, when the opportunity came to choose a story for my second screenwriting class (where our goal was to write the first draft of act one of a full-length screenplay) I jumped at the chance to explore my story again.

Writing the first act was so amazing. I really got to know the story down to its bones, and I knew the developing it into a screenplay would give me the opportunity to refine my dialogue skill to a new level. In my advanced screenplay class, we finished act two and looked toward the future for act three. I knew by the end of my advanced screenwriting class where I would go in the final act, it would be a few more months until I finished my complete first draft, and of course, there was a long editing period.

But where did this story come from? I will admit the story is a work of fiction, but as any writer will tell you, it is impossible for your real life not to make its way onto the page. The basis of Memory of Shane is a love story between Adriana, the young nineteen-year-old not looking for love and Shane the young writer hoping for his big break. What drove me to even start to write a love story was rooted in what happened in my own personal relationship with my girlfriend at the time in 2007.

I will write many blogs about the weeks and months that lead to my diagnosis. After leaving the psychiatric ward for the first time there was true chaos in my life. I was on new medication that I didn’t believe in. I had some idea where my life was heading, and so I was worried about the emotional toll that being in a relationship with me would be for my girlfriend. I loved her, and she was willing to stick it out with me, but I did the unthinkable and ended my relationship in a very Bipolar way. She came to my house and I broke up with her. I was a jerk there is no getting around that now. Looking back, I know my girlfriend would’ve stuck by me but it just wasn’t fair to her because, as I would find out, 2008 and 2009 were the worst years of my life.

What does this have to do with anything? Well with writing Memory of Shane I had the opportunity to explore if and how two people could coexist when one of the people in the relationship is bipolar. On some level, I wanted to imagine if a person like me could be in a healthy relationship. I worked so many scenarios in my mind that it gave me the ability to write a story that, at some level, could have been my own life. Our past choices are long gone now, but it’s great as a writer to explore your past through your writing.

It is almost impossible for my own life not to sneak into my writing, but in this work, my character Shane does reflect my own experiences with Bipolar One. We both fell in love at the start of our diagnosis although Shane tried to hold on to Adriana. Both Shane and I can trace our symptoms to our teen years. I even wrote a scene where Shane spends days laying down in his bed in complete darkness, I did so many times during my long cycles of depression.

Beyond the diagnosis, both Shane and I tried to take our lives three times, thought Shane was unfortunately successful becoming a statistic. There was a part of me that, when I wrote Shane’s death in the story, that once and for all that any thoughts of suicide in my own life were dead. I would no longer walk down that dark path that leads to suicide. It became true​ when I made the decision to end my character Shane’s life, I would lock that part of me away that piece of me forever.

After finishing my full-length screenplay of Memory of Shane it came down to if I would write the novel version. I put so much into this project, could I really do it again? It took months before I could revisit the idea again and eventually I gave in. It will be interesting for me to explore this story once again.

So, there is a little history on my project Memory of Shane.

J.E.Skye

Photo Credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters