“It’s like having a baby.”
I had heard authors talk about writing and publishing like that for a while before I published. I didn’t really get how painfully honest that comparison was until I published The Chronicle of the Three: Bloodline.
Now, here I sit, four days after finishing the manuscript for its sequel and I do feel like I gave birth again, and this time the sensation is even clearer. It’s this mix of excitement and anxiety and hope and fear and nausea and exhaustion.
When you’re pregnant its all you think about. Even when you’re thinking about your job or spouse or weekend plans, you are thinking about being pregnant. You can’t help it. It’s this undeniable part of you that can’t just be set aside. At first it’s totally exciting and new. (The Love Boat theme song just flashed through my head.) Then it gets scary and you think about what you have to do and you feel sick and tired and you can’t take it back but you worry you aren’t cut out for this whole thing and then you just want it out.
Several months later its out. And you’re relieved…for like a hot minute. But then you aren’t pregnant anymore. Instead you have an actual baby. You love that baby. You are so happy to have that baby. But you have it, and you have to feed it and take care of it and watch it grow and then you have to put it out into the world and you’re terrified again.
Writing a book is exactly the same. I spent the last nine months writing a manuscript. It was all I thought about even when I was thinking about other things. And now I’ve sent it to my publisher so that we can prepare it to go out into the world. And now I’m terrified again. But also really excited.
Around about summer my baby will be more like a toddler that I will send out into the world. Thinking about it makes me a little nauseous again. Because how will the world treat my baby?
It doesn’t matter. It’ll be my baby, which I will love, either way. For the good and the bad just like my real, actual human babies.
So, I’m still sitting here, four days after feeling like I gave birth. The thrilling fatigue has set in. The good news is, with this baby I don’t have to wake up for 2 am feedings or change diapers. The bad news is I get no shower gifts. Can I make that a thing? Can we start having “book showers” for new authors? What would the gifts be? Who are we kidding, chocolate and coffee and I’m set.
I’ll let you all know when my new little one makes its debut into the world. You can give me coffee and chocolate. If you want. No pressure.