• Tom Robinson

My mental health is more important to me than anything else!

Updated: Aug 13

I'm not sure whether writing this post is a good idea or not but I've hit a massive stumbling block in this entire process, and I guess it's important to note it down.


In a nutshell - I got better from hellish bipolar and then decided I wanted to share my story to help other people. So, I started writing five years ago and started submitting to agents three years ago. I got nothing but rejections, so I rewrote.


When I say rewrote, I'm not just talking about the manuscript - that's the easy bit. I'm talking about the book proposal (a 60-page document containing author bio. overview, synopsis, chapter breakdowns, market analysis, potential endorsers, etc, etc, etc). This document took three months to write in collaboration with an author in New York and was then rewritten and reedited multiple times.


When that was rejected, I then refined and reworked the book proposal AGAIN. This took months of work and I finally resubmitted in the last few weeks.


In the meantime, I was initially helped by someone in the business who promised me I'd be helped further in December last year. I took her comments on board and spent three months painstakinly adding in all the relevant elements of 'backstory' and 'gravitas'. But the 'confessional memoir expert', further edit and contacts I was promised never happened and then I was later promised 'June'. This never happened either. I waited, I was patient, I sat it out, I tried other avenues, I wrote other material, I went and visited my friends in the psych wards, got more frustrated, tried even harder, etc, etc, etc.


While waiting for something to miraculously happen I even went to the London Book Fair. It cost me a fortune for the day once I'd paid the minimum entry fee plus travel etc, only to realise when I got there that all the agents were gated off behind a fence. Literally!


There was no hope of talking to anyone and the girls manning the desks of the publishing houses were incredibly rude.


It was absolutely soul destroying.


I'd gone with such honourable positive intentions about helping others and this is what happened.


I also met someone who was incredibly generous with their time, read my manuscript and suggested I added various elements before sending to a specific agent. I did all the recommended amendments and additions, wrote a spectacular query and sent a sparkling submission only for the agent to say « I don’t represent anything to do with mental health » 🤦‍♂️


So then to be subjected to more let down and bad energy in recent days was the final straw. Having painstaking spent months collating relevant articles, getting more press coverage, and re writing the book proposal the latest agent replied « sorry no time to read » … At least try to understand my disappointment even if you do think I’m an asshole. 🤦‍♂️


What I've essentially realised is that to help other people I will have to join 'the real world' where people attack each other and ride roughshod over you to get what they want. Or just close themselves off behind a fence.


I don't blame them. I feel for them. They are all victims of the 'real world' and they cannot see what it's doing to them.


I forgive them. I let them go with love. I pray they see what it's doing to them.


BUT


None of this is good for my own mental health.


I also realise that I was at my happiest when I was grateful simply to be alive and well and had no further desires, wants, or needs.


Basically:


I would rather be happy with nothing than join the 'real world' and be miserable again.

So, I'm going back to that place of peace and Tao. The space in the vessel and not the vessel itself. I guess the vessel was the book and the 'writing it' was the space in the vessel that I benefitted so massively from


So, in essence, the other thing I’ve discovered is that in writing the book I helped myself achieve the 'impossible': FULL WELLNESS. FULL HEALING & No need for medications ever again.

It’s already done it’s job. It got me better! 💫🙌


I wanted this for others too but if the powers that be are preventing that happening then what can I do? 🤷‍♂️


I have pulled myself off social media. I have stepped back from the idea of publishing. I do not enjoy the energy I'm being subjected to.


I'm happier now I've let it go!


My mental health will always come before anything and anyone else.


I'm sad that my writing may not reach the people it could have helped but I honestly tried my best and I won't reproach myself when I've tried so hard.


So, there it is! There is a small chance that one of the agents it's currently with may respond, but for now I allow myself permission to step away!


Thank you to all who've supported me.


I guess fate will determine the ending of the story!


TR



P.S I'm thinking of my late friend Cordelia Feldman this morning (bipolar warrior, writer, breast cancer sufferer) who worked in a literary agency and so accurately told me that:


"Getting picked out of the slush pile doesn't happen"

And no, I do not want to self-publish and if you want to know why then read this!

https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2016/mar/21/for-me-traditional-publishing-means-poverty-but-self-publish-no-way


The hideousness of social media (as thankfully just proved) would almost certainly kill me!


Right! Off I go to enjoy my life!!!! XXXX



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