After a few years of writing, and many months of editing and promoting, my debut book “birth” date is finally here. A book birthday is an apt term because, in many ways, writing and publishing a book parallels getting pregnant and having a child.
First you work hard to conceive (in this case, a story idea). Then you let the seed germinate: you outline, write drafts, revise, get advice, and revise again. You invest yourself in its development, nurturing it with each new day. Once you finish a manuscript and start to submit it to agents or publishers, people “see” it as real, start to congratulate you and express support and enthusiasm, they give advice, they offer their help. And then finally, after months or years, the book comes out and you hold it in your hands with wonderment. Like a baby, it’s something you created from nothing, and that first moment is amazingly surreal.
Then a whirlwind of emotions occurs: excitement, anticipation, pride, anxiety, and even fear. You worry you’ve taxed your friends’ goodwill too much. You read sections of the story and immediately see elements you wish you could tweak one last time. You hope people will “get” the point of the story. You pray it will sell!
But ultimately, like with one’s children, you don’t have genuine control over anything that happens once the book is out in the wild! All you can do is hope that everything you’ve done aligns and the book is well-received.
So tonight, mere hours away from the official launch of the book, I’m going to try to simply toast the fact that I’ve exceeded my original goal, which was to write a love story. And after the hoopla of tomorrow’s party subsides, I’ll sit back at my desk and keep working on my new project, and try not to obsess about sales and reviews and all of the other things that get in the way of enjoying the process of writing.
Thank you for celebrating with me!