How many people would read a memoir of raising a difficult child?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Steely, May 30, 2011.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    You know, the day in and day out drama of living with a difficult child, sprinkled with the mother's insight?

    Do you think it would become too repetitious - oh, kicked out of another school - oh, got in another fight - page after page?

    Or do you think it would give other parent's with difficult children comfort to know they are not alone, and those without difficult children insight?

    It really is about my life from 16 on - but now that I have gotten to Matt - I find myself going good god who would want to read this? They may rather jump off a cliff!
  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I think people would read it. Find a good title and when the time comes, you make sure that the subject matter is known but don't tell all.

    I also think that balancing the horrors with the moments of joy and laughter help to make the story interesting.

    I've read stories about real life hell and it's the injection of humanity, laughter and those tiny moments of joy that give the story true depth-for me.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree. I have read similar books, but mostly they're from the point of view of children with-awful childhoods. A whole new mkt has opened up about difficult children and the experience of raising them.

    I was considering writing one, as well. But first, I'm working on a collection of poetry. I've seen difficult child poetry online, but never a collection geared toward the poetry genre, as compared to or opposed to the difficult child genre. IOW, it's poetry first, then topic second.

    Go for it, Steely. You've got more than enough to write. You've got the experiences, the emotions, the ability to look back at what has happened. (I can't say enough for hindsight.)
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Go for it, I'm sure there's plenty of parents of difficult child's out there that need to know they're not alone.
  5. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I am just feeling like - wow I am writing, and writing, and writing - and then what? What if no one wants to publish it? What if it stinks?
    I am in a bit of a funk today, but I guess I would like some type of guarantee that not only would this type of book sell, but my writing is good enough. Yet, that can't happen. It is a true leap of faith, and I am bad at that:)
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Steely, there's so many ways to self-publish today and get it out there, don't worry about who will publish it. If you get the right networks going you can make more without legacy publishing anyway.
  7. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I think that publishers would very likely want some angle of "hope and redemption" - ie how your struggle with your difficult child led ultimately to some kind of healing/turnaround/breakthrough... As for writing and style, if they like the idea and basis of the book, they would edit it; even really badly written books (which I'm sure yours wouldn't be) get bought if the publishers feel they can do something with it. I for one would certainly read such a book eagerly!!
  8. keista

    keista New Member

    I say it's a great idea. I haven't had much time to read since the third came around, but when I did, it was usually a book about Asperger's in one way shape or form.

    Write it for yourself. I always tell the kids that ANY form of art is for the artist first, and for everyone else second. Worry about publishing later. (personally I've talked myself OUT of so many writing projects because I get ahead of myself with all the what ifs. More the what ifs I actually succeed and I won't be able to deal with the pressure? But that's me)

    But yes, I think the next generation of difficult child parents will find such a book helpful and insightful and consoling. And 10 years from now it just might be on the "recommended books" list on this and other forums.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I very much would read it. I know others would too - esp if you offer those bits of joy, hope, etc... that we all get from time to time. Let people really SEE both you and difficult child as real people, with hurts and hope, pain and prayers, thoughts and troubles - and let them feel those things and see how you handled them together - even when you had to make the calls and force guardianship it was not done TO him but as much WITH him as possible, and of course 1000% FOR him because he was NOT able to care for himself then.

    I think that there are a whole lot more parents of difficult children out there than anyone knows, except maybe law enforcement in some areas has a tiny clue. We are sort of on the edge of educating the world about difficult children and what does and doesn't work even a teeny bit. Sharing our struggles and successes will help many others - parents, difficult child, even experts. But we have to be willing and ABLE to write our stories in a manner that will reach out and grab readers. It is a skill you have, and I strongly envy. I am a GOOD technical writer and a GREAT business communication/report/proposal writer. ANY story I write sounds like a business letter, always has. I do proofread well, so if you want/need help with that I would happily help.

    You are a great writer, and you have a lot to say. I have a strong feeling that many people would get strength and solace and ideas from the book you are writing.

    I am proud of you for never giving up on this dream!
  10. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I think people would read it, especially parents with difficult child's starting out, as well as friends and family members wanting some insight into difficult child-land. I probably wouldn't because I am so sick of difficult child stuff that I just want to stay away from all of it. It's not personal, just the place I'm at right now. I do think there is a market for it.
  11. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Flutter you are funny. When it gets published I will be sure not to give you a copy:) Heck that is how I feel writing it too - I am sick of difficult child stuff!

    Thanks Susie for the compliment:)

    HaoZi - how do you go about networking ? Do you mind going into a little detail about how you can make more money not publishing it?
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Steely, that's what so many people say, and what so many people use as an excuse for not writing at all.
    FIRST, just write it.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I've read many books about raising difficult children written by parents, especially those with Aspergers and Attachment Disorder.

    You don't need to New York publish anymore (or whatever the equivalent is in Australia). There are online publishers who will do the set up and editing if they like your book and pay you royalties. I've been doing this for years, although a totally different genre. E-books are very popular now. The money can be pretty good! Go for it! :)
  14. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Ebooks and places like Createspace for physical copies are great starts and the royalties pay better percentages than the publishing house. The main issues with going that route are editing, formatting, and marketing. FWIW, if you're on FB, there are some pretty good indie author groups that help each other. I'd love to get MWM in there sometime (hint hint) and you don't have to be finished with your book to join up. There's a number of genre-specific groups off the main, a bunch of indies with blogs willing to help spread the word, etc.

    Is it easy? I won't say that. Is it satisfying to get your work out there? Yep. I haven't made money on mine, but unlike the major houses where the big push on a book is when it hits the stores, ebook sales tend to accumulate better over time.
  15. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I hope I didn't offend, Steely. It's not that I think it wouldn't be worth reading, just that I am so done with difficult child stuff. Write now I'm reading about Buddhism, dogs, WWI, and WWII. Judging by how you write and communicate on this board, I have no doubt that you'll be able to catch the hearts and minds of readers.
  16. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Never in a million years.
  17. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    I certainly would. In the midst of our hellish times with difficult child 2 I read this book:
    So much of it sounded so familiar, especially since it took place in Maine. I had been feeling so alone and didn't know there were others like me.

    Steely, you write beautifully, I am sure people will be moved by your story and your poetic, poignant style. Sometimes there is a haunting, supernatural quality to your thoughts. I always enjoy when you post.
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    one word of advice from me...and it may not apply to everyone...but I like my books to be less heavy and dark even if I am reading about some deep subjects. A small bit of humor can go a long way.
  19. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I am one of those people who will read almost anything. I prefer stuff written with a wry sense of humor - which means, Steely, I'd probably read your stuff!

    That said - at one point, husband and I were talking about the fact that all the stuff we'd been through? No one would believe it. It would be a bestseller... And everyone would shelve it in fiction. This was before I found this place... I got about 5 pages written and stopped. Because even I did not believe what I'd written. And it was 100% true.
  20. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I am writing intro starts with: Our journey starts with Awwwww, cruised down the road to AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH and if I could do cliff notes; not a coffee table book? Possibly shut down Planned Parent Hood or have a major influx in parents that end up in AA. I even considered publishing my book under Science Fiction because no one I know would boldy go where I have gone.

    So my answer is yes.