Writing a self-help book:

Total posts: [3]
1 Alma17th Feb 2013 01:28:04 PM from Coruscant , Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
The Harbinger of Strange
Hi, all. In addition to my sci-fi project, I have one other thing I'm working on: A self-help book for obsessive-compulsive disorder.

OCD is something I have, so I am—I like to think—speaking from a position of experience. I am, for the most part, writing about what this disorder is to me, which coping strategies I have found to work, etc. It will contain relatively little factual/clinical information, though IMO that's a necessary part of the book: describing the disorder in the terms of professionals, and listing potential treatment options.

What I'd like to know is how best to handle such a book.

For starters, it will only be short—I was thinking pocketbook-sized, or like the depression guidebook some of you may be familiar with: Taming the Black Dog by Bev Aisbett.

Some of the questions I have are:

How should the obligatory factual information be presented? Aside from the DSM-IV, are there any other resources I should be looking at for that section of the book?

Should I keep from dwelling too much on my own history with the disorder? I know that question may fly in the face of my idea that this would be a "personal" book, but I get the feeling there's a limit I should respect with regards to how much I should talk specifically about myself, my OWN history.

And finally, any advice on how the book should be presented aesthetically? My thoughts are that the design of the book should be colourful, eye-catching and dynamic—like an extended brochure, with headings and titles that stand out, allowing the reader to easily grasp the gist of a segment or particular data point.

Any thoughts? Also, I have 9 pages already drafted, so I can post a sample of the book, if it helps.

edited 17th Feb '13 1:29:10 PM by Alma

You need an adult.
Samples always helpgrin

You don't need to talk about you're self. Just use fake names like bob and alice.
Terracotta Soldier Man
I agree that it's a bad idea to talk about your own experiences exclusively, but not that it's a bad idea to talk about them at all. I'd recommend finding other people in your area who have struggled with OCD and interviewing them to see how they're doing and what measures they're taking — provided they give you permission to include that info in your book, of course. Other good sources might be publicly-available case files and, of course, other books (though don't forget to reference them properly).

As for presenting the facts: Put your bottom line up front, to use an old saying. Present them concisely the way the experts do, then explain it in layman's terms, then give practical examples of how that manifests daily in your own and others' lives. That allows you to provide concrete images to go along with the doctors' abstracted descriptions of the disorder.

Can't give you advice about the aesthetics; that's not really my personal strong suit.

edited 10th Mar '13 12:12:58 AM by Specialist290

The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.

Total posts: 3