You know how they tell you to, "Write from the heart?"
It's better to find a less conflicted organ and write from there. Like your kidney, which would be helpful as a filter. Or possibly your tonsils, since they're somewhat mysterious and vestigial. Or, as House would argue, a sphincter
See, I recently wrote a YA book that was... far too close to home. It was twisty and deep and drew on the best and the worst of my teenage life.
I bled for it. I cried for it. I was proud of it. I was in love with it.
Aaaaaand that's where the problem started.
Sometimes, when you write from the heart, as when you're a doctor treating a friend or relative, you get too close to be objective. If you want to be published, you can't just go into labor, push and squeeze for a while, and then toss a moist and heaving pile of papers on the table and call it done. Finishing the book is the easy part. It's the revisions that are the hard part. And revisions mean looking critically at your own work and inviting others to rip it to shreds.
If the book is too close to your own heart, it's very difficult to do that.
They say, "This isn't realistic," and you shout, "BUT IT HAPPENED!"
They say, "Move it around; massage it," and you shout, "BUT THAT'S NOT HOW I ENVISIONED IT. THAT'S NOT THIS BOOK!"
They say, "The main character is too conflicted and wishy-washy," and you say, "YES, BUT THAT'S EXACTLY HOW I FELT AT THE TIME!"
In short, they bring up perfectly reasonable points... for a book.
And you defend... your life.*
And you know what that doesn't produce?
A good book.
If you want a book to survive, you must be willing to put it on the operating table and cut it wide open. It will stop breathing for a while. You will think it is dead. You will use those outrageously horrible rib-spreader things to open it up and expose the hideous disease within.
And then you'll shock it back to life and set about fixing the mess.
It's a lot like watching House, actually. Accept that your book is not a special snowflake. It's messed up, and it lies, and it's going to freaking DIE if you can't figure out what's wrong with it.
The good news is: IT'S NOT LUPUS.
The bad news is: It's got to crash at least once before you can figure out the problem.
But if you can rise above it, you can save it.
That's your job as a writer: To rise above the personal and keep the book alive, no matter the cost. And if you have to play catch with a tennis ball or break into someone's house or get hooked on valium to do it... well, I wouldn't do that. I would stick with coffee and cupcakes.
And next time, do yourself a favor. Write from the sphincter.
Or just write up your last dream about vampires.
It worked for me and Stephenie Meyer.
* Kind of like that Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep movie with the angel togas-- Defending Your Life. I hated that movie.