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  1. Rainer

    Rainer Member

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    Ideas for a book on addiction

    Discussion in 'Non-Fiction' started by Rainer, Nov 14, 2016.

    Hey everyone, I'm looking for input from non-fiction enthusiasts really. When I was 21 I was diagnosed with a severe sex addiction, which I know is quite funny but it has been a struggle for the past 9 years or so. I won't bore anyone with the details, but I want to put my experiences into a non fiction book to help other people who might find themselves in a similar predicament cope.

    I've read a lot of books on the subject and none of them approach the subject with the comedic angle it deserves. Because, as bad as it is, I think joking about it could make for an interesting read. The closest I can think of something similar is in Russell Brand's first book when he tells of his experiences in a sex addiction rehabilitation center. One of the problems is that he didn't really have a message. He just talked about how he had to chastise himself and the things he wasn't allowed to do.

    However, I've had several experiences which have greatly impacted my life for the worse but was powerless to stop myself performing them (yeah, sleeping with twenty people at once is a chore, etc), but overall have taught me to how to cope. I don't want to discuss addiction in a straight up clinical sense but I want to relate how addiction influenced my choices and the lessons I've learnt from it. The problem is I'm struggling to find a coherent structure or narrative to it.

    Would it be detrimental to the overall message (or even offensive) if I labeled each chapter with a different woman's name? I was thinking of naming them something like Jennifer - My Daughter's Year 1 Teacher or Alison - The Spokeswoman Of My Sex Addiction Rehabilitation Group (both true stories, names changed though).

    Would this interest anyone? Would anyone read it for enjoyment rather than advice? Does anyone know any similar books? Would it be better to disguise it as a fiction book instead? Any input is appreciated.
     
  2. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I'd say your major problems will be

    a) you say yourself you don't want to bore us, if its not interesting enough to discuss its probably not interesting enough to write about either.

    b) the naming thing could easily come across as bragging, look how many women I've slept with ... yawn

    c) i think you need to choose between it being a book to help others in a similar predicament ( I suspect that market is pretty small) and being comedic about it, i doubt you can have both.
     
  3. Jaiden

    Jaiden Member

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    Read Charles Bukowski. Post Office, then Factotum, then Ham on Rye, and then Women. If you like that, and particularly the more sinister side of it, have a read of Dostoevsky's 'Notes from the Underground', if only because it makes you think about how you really perceive the world, and maybe even how that world might view you in turn.
     
  4. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    I read quite a bit of nonfiction, but I can't really see this appealing to me...

    It sounds like you're talking about a memoir, essentially, and memoirs are generally only successful if the author has had a truly extraordinary experience or if the author has a fantastic, compelling voice. I haven't seen much of your writing so maybe you can manage the second and just haven't been putting your best foot forward on recent posts. I certainly don't see much potential for the first - just having slept with a lot of people? Without something more, I don't think it's noteworthy enough to justify a book.
     
  5. Rainer

    Rainer Member

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    I didn't think the specifics of my particular disorder would be relevant in my original post, is all. It's not boring by any means but it would mean going off on a tangent.

    Well, it's strange because that's how this idea has come about. I'm a professional writer as it is and I'm currently writing the memoirs of a woman who is a self-proclaimed "serial dater". It's a book about all of her exploits on her path to find the perfect man, and in all honesty it's boring as shit. It's been approved by a relatively famous publisher and it's got me thinking. She chose me as her ghostwriter because I told her about my experience in this area and I've realised that my own experiences are way more interesting than hers. The only difference is; the woman's dating advice market is a lot bigger than the male sex addict market.
     
  6. Francis de Aguilar

    Francis de Aguilar Contributor Contributor

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    A key question, I would think, is will this be a book that is from the perspective of being 'in recovery' or from the perspective of 'active addiction'? When you say " in a similar predicament cope." what exactly do you mean?
     
  7. cydney

    cydney Banned

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    Write whatever you want! I'd read it in a heartbeat! :)
     
  8. Rainer

    Rainer Member

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    That's a good point. I never thought that it might be something that the partner of a sex addict might appreciate. How long are your self-help guides? Are your credentials related to the guides you write? I did my degree in psychology and I'm an active psychology enthusiast still, so I think I have a deeper understanding of addiction than the average person too, especially my own.

    Good question. I personally am still an active addict but I use that term loosely as I don't think an addiction can ever be fully cured. I think it will always be there despite anyone's best intentions. I can control it a lot better than I could ten years ago though and it doesn't have the same negative impact on my relationships, finances, work-life, etc as it used to. By helping people in a similar predicament cope, I mean by helping people who felt the same as I once did take control of their urges. There was a time when I was completely helpless to control myself despite being a fully-functioning, professional, mature and reasonably-intelligent adult. It was the feeling that I was at the mercy of an urge I couldn't consciously control which terrified me. Sex wasn't fun for me, it was a chore, but I still spent the majority of my time looking for it. I'd constantly ask myself questions like what if I'm like this forever? What if I'm a slave to this addiction for the rest of my life? What if I meet the perfect partner but am unable to be faithful, and thus ruin everything? All sex addicts have these questions in their back of their mind but most of them (as I did) block them out and hope for a miracle cure. I suppose I'd like to help them address the issues they might be scared to bring up in the cold light of day to a professional.
     
  9. Francis de Aguilar

    Francis de Aguilar Contributor Contributor

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    Many would agree that addiction cannot be cured, however, many also believe it can be arrested. Many would say that 'control' is beyond the scope of an active addict, that some form of paradigm shift is essential before an addict can reclaim their life from the grip of addiction. If such people are right, then helping sufferers in the way you describe may not be helpful.
     
  10. amerrigan

    amerrigan Active Member

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    On the naming of the different chapters after women:

    I think that you might find that your main readership wouldn't be fellow sex-addicts, but rather people who have a 'fantasy idea' of what sex addiction is. They will be looking to escape their reality into 'what it would be like to be a sex addict' for a while.

    Naming each chapter after a different woman would actually more affect their flicking through your book when they pick it up off the shelf. Think about them seeing those names and what it tells them about the book. My guess is that they will think that the book is erotica that has been re-packaged as a main-stream, journey of healing, self-help, autobiography.

    Could be a good thing.

    Perhaps this combination will help you sell erotica to people who want to pretend they aren't reading erotica. And you'll get away with it by attaching some mild 'If you are suffering from sex-addiction, please call this number' at the end.

    Though, I could be wrong about what people would think when they see the names. This is just my guess.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2016

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