About my book.


For a couple of years now, I’ve talked about writing a book.    Writing and publishing a book has always been a dream of mine,  but getting motivated enough or knowing what I wanted to write about has always been an issue for me.

My book won’t be fiction because I’m really bad at fiction and can never seem to think of a viable beginning or end that doesn’t seem contrived.   My one attempt to write a book of fiction (in 2003) was a disaster and I hated all my characters.   It was self-indulgent, full of cliches, stilted dialogue, and uninteresting and unlikable characters who always seemed to be arguing about nothing.  To this day I can’t tell you what the book was about, because I don’t know.   I have no idea how to plot a novel, although I have read hundreds of novels by others who do know how to plot them.  It’s simply not something I have any talent for.

For some reason, I never threw that manuscript away (I spent too much time writing it) but I don’t look at it and never will again.  Its 300 plus pages sit in a tattered cardboard box in the farthest corner in the back of a closet.  The one time I tried to reread what I’d written, I cringed at how atrocious it was.    It was that bad.   I sent it to several publishers who also thought it was that bad – and sent it back to me with a polite rejection note.

The dilemma I’m facing (besides lack of time and drive) is what the topic of my book would be.    I think I’ve finally narrowed it down to two things.

Let me say straight out that my book will not be about narcissistic abuse, narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, or anything related to personality disorders, C-PTSD, codependency, or dysfunctional families or relationships.   Although this blog has been primarily about those things (at least until recently), I don’t feel comfortable writing a book covering anything in this field for at least four reasons.

First, there are many bloggers who have already written books about narcissism and narcissistic abuse, and many have done it better than I think I could.    I don’t even think this is one of the best blogs that ever covered narcissistic abuse.   Second, since I’ve moved on in my recovery,  I’m less passionate about this problem than I used to be.   I feel like anything that needed to be said, I’ve already said — or others have said better.   That doesn’t mean it’s not an important issue — it definitely is, but I feel like my passion for it isn’t there anymore.   Third, I’m afraid that delving into a personal account of my own life with a narcissistic family and husband — or my mental disorders that were caused by that — will be too triggering and send me back down the rabbit hole, a place I’ve gratefully left behind.  At first, it helped me to talk about it, and to find that I wasn’t alone.   Without that outlet and this blog, I would never have discovered things about myself I needed to change.    So I’m grateful for that, but I’m not in the same head space I was two years ago.  Therapy is quite enough for me right now and is intense enough as it is.  I no longer have any desire to dwell on the trauma I had to deal with just to have something to write about.   There are other things I prefer to write about now that make me feel better.  Fourth, I’m not a mental health professional and would feel like something of a fraud were I to write a self-help book for others, even though I know quite a bit about personality disorders, enough to write such a book.

So, what would my book be about, if it’s not going to be a novel or a book about personality disorders or narcissistic abuse?

I feel like I’m strong at writing opinion and humor.  Short little essays and anecdotes that give readers a window into the way I look at life — both the big and small things.    I enjoy writing posts like these.  My last post, “My Problem With Pens,” was one of the most enjoyable posts I’ve written in a long time.    I like that kind of writing and I want to do more of it.   No, I’ll probably never be the next David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs, but I love creative writing and I can write humor.   I think I’m good enough at it to compile my best essays (both humorous and more serious) into a small book.    I’ve written a number of those kind of posts on this blog already,  but I never realized until recently that was actually my strongest writing.  Because I never focused on those types of posts and never made a section for them in the header or compiled a list of links, it will take some time to go through this blog and pull out all the titles and then decide which ones to use (and probably add some new ones to flesh out the book and give readers of this blog something new to read).

The only problem with writing a book like that is I’m not already a “name” (unless you count blog ownership as a kind of qualification), and compilations of essays usually sell best when written by someone already well-known for something else.    But I’m not expecting to make a million dollars or for the book to catapult me to sudden fame and a review in the New York Times Review of Books.  Not even close.    I could probably make more money writing a book about having been raised by narcissists, having BPD or C-PTSD, or writing a self help book about how to deal with abusers.   I could probably even sell more books writing about mindfulness techniques and developing empathy for people with Cluster B disorders.  But I don’t want to write a book like that.   I want to have fun writing my book, and this is why I’ve decided to write a compilation of my observations, opinions, and humorous little anecdotes.

There’s another topic I’ve been thinking about writing a book about:  handling Internet trolls and bullies.   Obviously, that’s related to narcissistic abuse, but it’s a narrower and more focused topic and doesn’t require me to delve into my deep past and retrigger ancient memories.    I’ve definitely been a victim of Internet bullying (most of us bloggers have, unfortunately) and I have experience now in how to deal with them — enough experience to be able to help others.   Any book I write about Internet troublemakers would be mostly a compilation of some of the posts and numbered lists I’ve already written for this blog.    Someone told me I had one of the most comprehensive lists of articles about Internet trolls and how to handle them they’d ever seen, and that got me thinking that maybe I ought to publish an actual book about it.

Very soon, I will need to lay off blogging and start compiling posts and writing new ones for a book.  I wish I had time to do both, but the need to keep a roof over my head and food in my fridge makes doing both nearly impossible.

What would you rather see me write about first?  A book of observations, opinions, essays, and humor; or a book about handling trolls and online bullies?

Not ready to run with the big dogs.


I’m not ready to run with the big dogs in the blogging world yet–nowhere near.   This puppy still requires a lot from me just to stay alive from day to day.  If this blog tried to run with the big dogs now, it would probably get trampled and run home whimpering. Could be I’d even have to dress a few wounds caused by Pup’s overeagerness to join the grownups and alpha dogs.

I assumed my blog had reached a point where I could take a break from it for a few days and Google would do my job for me while I did other things.   After all, there are some popular posts on this blog that continue to get a lot of hits months and even a year or more (!) after they were first posted.     I thought these self-generating popular posts would keep my viewcount up without me having to maintain it in any way. I also thought because my Alexa rankings are fairly good (top 450,000 global; top 80,000 US)  and my view count per day ranges between 1,500 and 2,500 (it can go higher on good days, or when a post goes viral), meant I could be lazy for a few days or a week and just sit and do nothing at all and wait for the hits to come.   (I know, I know, Alexa is sort of lame and not the best measure of a blog’s metrics, but I don’t want to pay for Google analytics).

Wrong!   After ONE DAY of not posting, my stats are WAY down.   It was disheartening to open my blog today and find NO likes, NO new followers, NO comments, and an abysmal view count.   I felt like I did the second week of blogging, when I would open my blog and find…nothing.  All that hard work I put slaving over a post for hours to make it perfect in every way, only to wind up having an audience of one–myself.   Granted, these days some people are reading.  I have regular followers who always check for new posts.  So things aren’t as bad as when I was a newbie.   But it’s still disappointing when the only people visiting your posts are your regulars who always visit anyway.

This can only mean that Lucky Otter’s Haven isn’t quite ready to “work” on its own yet without my help.   It’s not The Huffington Post or Amazon or even Cracked.com, and even those sites require regular maintenance and new articles every day.   LOH still needs regular maintenance and lots of TLC from me, and it needs a stream of new posts every day (or at least one or two).    Out of those new posts, a few catch on and a very few even go viral or remain popular over time.  Not all of them do. In fact most of them don’t.


My other blog, Down The Rabbit Hole (I jokingly refer to it as my “second child”), has very low visibility and has not grown much (if at all) since I started it 11 months ago.  But that’s because DTRH was never intended to be for anyone but myself and any friends who are actually interested in reading about my therapy sessions and learning what goes on inside all those nested boxes stacked inside my mind like a Russian doll or Chinese puzzle.   I have never tried to monetize Rabbit Hole and probably never will.  It wouldn’t qualify for monetization anyway–not enough traffic.    Rabbit Hole has a much more limited audience and I have no desire to make it “popular” because to do so would ruin the far more intimate, personal, introspective feel of that blog, which some readers actually prefer over this one with all its widgets, ads, filler, jokes, pictures, and fluff posts.  So, when I log into DTRH and find I got only 20 views that day and no new Likes or comments,  I don’t worry about it.  I don’t go out of my way to promote that blog either, being that the posts in it are so personal I really don’t like to share too many of them on social media.  It’s really nothing more than a personal journal that I happened to  have made public to anyone who wants to read the minutiae of my therapy sessions and my own healing progress.

Lucky Otter’s Haven is different from The Rabbit Hole–it’s a “I’m-a-victim-of-narcissistic-abuse-and-I-have-mental-problems-and-PTSD-resulting-from-that-abuse” kind of blog but it’s also a general purpose blog, with a little something for everyone.   Like music, all kinds? Check.  Like art and photography?  Check.  Like politics and social issues and want to hear my unasked for opinion on those? Check.  Like movie and book reviews? Check.  Like posts describing all my mundane daily activities, like what I ate for breakfast and how long the line at the DMV was? Check.  Like inspirational memes?  Check.  True confessions?  Check.  A little religion?  You’ll find that here too.  Want to look at photos of my pets? Check.  Care to look at my dilapidated and mismatched furniture and my less than Architectural Digest (or even less than HGTV) quality interior decor in my tragically outdated 1908 half of a farm house which is in dire need of major repairs?  Check.  Have a penchant to read snarky little essays about everyday things?  Check that too.  Curious to see videos of my son’s dance routines? Check.  Itching for a little controversy? Yes, you’ll find that here too.  Haven’t had your daily dose of schadenfreude?  This blog is full of rants and whines and even a little shameless self pity that should fit the bill.   Want to learn how to be a better blogger and while you’re at it, find out how to recognize and handle online trolls, bullies, psychopaths, and narcissists?  Got you covered.

After my narcissism posts, my blogging and writing articles are my second most popular kinds of posts.   I don’t think of LOH  as a “blogging advice blog,” but I suppose for some, it could serve that purpose if they wanted it to.   It’s a versatile blog and I think that’s a good thing.  No one has complained about that yet.


LOH didn’t become “general purpose” to get popular; I made it that way because lots of things interest me and there’s always some interesting and random thing going on, if you just are paying attention.   I also am opinionated and have opinions about many things, and this is my platform for spewing those opinions to the world.  I also get burned out sometimes on writing about narcissism and need a break to focus on things that are less dark and deadly-serious.

But I digress.  Those of you who follow this blog know I write about lots of things and from one day to the next, you won’t really know what to expect.   I think that’s a good thing and I think it keeps my regulars around.  But I realized after today that I can’t afford to get lazy and just let this blog float on its own, because chances are good it sink like a leaden rowboat to the bottom of Internet ocean, where algae, seaweed, barnacles, and general rot will take up residence on its rusting carcass.   It’s not famous like the ill fated Titanic (or as big), so no one’s likely in 100 years or so, to dredge it up from its sedimentary place of rest at the bottom of the Cyber-sea to explore its hidden treasures.

It’s only fate would be Just Another Dead Blog.


So maintaining activity on this blog is still something I have to keep working at.  I can’t take extended “vacations” unless I’m willing to watch my blog capsize and sink into the Underworld of the Dead Blogs.

Moral:  If you’re not a Big Dog yet, you can’t afford to be a lazy blogger.