My editor initially rejected Burn Rate. He said he had no interest in a “chest-thumping memoir of entrepreneurial success.” That said, if I were to “write an unvarnished story about mental illness told through the lens of an entrepreneur,” well, then, we might be onto something.
The amazing thing here to me is that through your disclosure in Burn Rate, you’ve gone beyond Michael Stipe’s “everybody hurts,” and gone deep with “this is how I hurt” -- which serves to provide a peer example for others. It reinforced the concept that readers were not alone. Reading Burn Rate was a first for me going through someone else’s account of their mental health condition, and I realized how sorely I needed a peer group that could relate to my own struggles. Though I’d never tried group therapy before, this revelation inspired me to try a group session, and though I’d actually had past counselors discourage me about the utility of such sessions (presumably because I’m “high functioning” I was told), I found the mutually-supportive nature & open disclosure involved in group sessions empowering. So I agree wholeheartedly that everybody hurts, many of us are not mental health providers, but there’s power in having (and, in turn, being for others) a peer with a mental health condition. Wanted to recognize your role in furthering my thought process and gradual emergence from isolation. Thank you.