I would like to write a book and publish it on my brothers life. He is a homebound person since age 17 and now is age 58 and suffers from a variety of mental and physical conditions like severe panic attacks, severe depression and many other painful symptoms. He is a farmer, owns 100 acres of black muck and lives off his crops but is very poor. I struggled for years getting medical help to come to the home from dentist to doctors of all types and therapists. One doctor told me to write his story but he has since died and no one every cured him. His whole life is rather depressing and not fun as there is no happy ending here only that he is alive but not well and not sure how long he will live without using today's methods of medicine. Is this book worth writing? Would anyone read such a story of struggles after struggles?

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    Short answer - yes. I'd suggest getting your hands on a copy of "Tuesday's with Morrie" for a very bitter-sweet but utterly captivating and heartbreaking book
    – user18397
    Oct 6, 2016 at 23:04
  • We can't really tell you what should or shouldn't be written :) If you're passionate about it and think it makes for gripping reading, you may be capable of carrying that passion through into your book. Most of whether or not people will read it depends on your execution, what you make of it, not on the bare facts of the situation.
    – Standback
    Oct 6, 2016 at 23:06
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    Yes, but if you want it to be read, you will need to find the story arc in your brother's life. A mere chronicle of misfortune is not a story, however real and however sad. Stories have an emotional arc that draws the reader on. The arc may end joyfully or tragically, but to make an readable work, you need to find that arc.
    – user16226
    Oct 6, 2016 at 23:23

1 Answer 1



If you look at literary fiction, there is an abundance of hard lives and unhappy endings portrayed there.

But you do not have to make it a depressing book. You can focus on the strength of your brother that keeps him going and persevering despite his difficult fate. Or you can use your brother's story to reflect on the grace of God. Or you can write a parallel account of another life and find meaning in the differences. Or a hundred thousand other interesting things.

Whether or not anyone will want to read your book, will depend on the power of your artistic vision.

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