Author Story: Sara Schley

In college, Sara Schley was at the top of her game. A scholar-athlete, Schley appeared to have it all . . . until she had her first brain breakdown. Over the course of twenty-five years, she searched for an answer to what ailed her. Five psychiatrists later, she finally received a life-saving diagnosis that enabled her to receive the care she needed: Schley has a bipolar II brain on the bipolar spectrum.

Bipolar spectrum disorders are often misdiagnosed because most healthcare providers do not know they exist. Many are unaware that there is bipolar without mania. Bipolar depressions are misdiagnosed and “the wrong medications make broken brains worse.” To help combat this lack of awareness and the stigma around mental illness, Schley decided to share her story and how her life-saving diagnosis helped to set her on the path to health, vitality, and joy.

Bipolar disorder exists on a wide spectrum, and the back cover of BrainStorm states, “Understanding this changes everything: with the right diagnosis, medication, support, and self-care, people who have experienced brutal, persistent depression—that is actually a form of bipolar—can live rich, full lives. Sara’s life is proof. The self-care disciplines Sara has honed over forty years of living with her bipolar II brain can help anyone who experiences anxiety, stress, or depression heal.”

Sara’s goal for her book is to shift the mental illness paradigm, end the stigma, mitigate suffering, maximize healing, and save lives.

Sara’s Quest

The easiest part of the publishing process for Schley was writing, and once she was finished writing, she embarked on the next segment of her journey. Initially, that was finding a publisher. Unfortunately, that didn’t go as planned. Despite Schley’s lofty goals for her book and the number of people it could benefit, agents refused to accept her manuscript. But while agents were saying “no,” world-class bipolar clinicians and academics were saying “yes.” They strongly encouraged her that the message of her book was essential and would save lives. She knew that she still needed to share her work with the world.

In response to why she decided to self-publish, Schley says, “No agent would take it. And the world-famous research doctors said it was an absolute must to publish and amplify. I went with the doctors.” Once she made the decision to self-publish, she was granted the freedom to call the shots. There was no more dealing with gatekeepers. At long last, Schley was able to publish her work and get her story and message out into the world. She’s since marketed her book via social media, podcasts, conferences, and book talks. And now, Schley is working with a team of world-class science documentarians using BrainStorm as the inspiration for an unprecedented film on the bipolar spectrum!

Sara’s Advice

In Schley’s own words, “Don’t do it alone! Do it with 1106.” The next time Sara needs help publishing her work, she knows she can rely on 1106 Design to help her achieve her goals. We’re here to help you, as well. We truly care about authors. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us any time. We’re just a call or an email away.


BrainStorm: From Broken to Blessed on the Bipolar Spectrum

Author: Sara Schley

Genre: Nonfiction, memoir

Link to Amazon Book Page: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09QHVCFD8?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860

Author Website URL: www.saraschley.com

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