Books and babies can both be difficult to put down. They demand your attention when you have other things that need doing. They invoke a feeling of fierce loyalty when someone criticizes one you cherish.
And writing a book is a bit like being pregnant; morning sickness (nausea; when you discover that the words you wrote yesterday are not as brilliant as you suspected). Fluid retention from sitting on your backside for hours and days at a time. Cravings for food, coffee, substances in an attempt to get the brain working. And tiredness. Because using the brain and imagination can take up a lot of energy.
Then, the advance copy finally arrives in the mail; the moment you’ve been waiting for.
Holding the book in your hands after all the writing, stressing, rejections, stressing, re-writing, stressing, acceptance….stressing, editing, proofing, acknowledgments, stressing, photos, cover, is sheer heaven, and it’s quite likely that the baby won’t leave your hands for the rest of the day.
But tomorrow TODAY!! my baby is stepping out into the real world. Its first day of school. In the world of books. It will find its place on the shelves in the ‘R’ section. And I hope the other books will shuffle over a little to give it a place. I hope they are kind, because it’s still a bit wet behind the ears.
Hopefully, it will be read, and people will like it, although they might not, and that’s as it should be, because we all have such different tastes and I do respect diversity of opinion.
Yet, ultimately, we have to let our children go, out into the big wide world, no matter how scary that is, no matter how much we fear for them. And perhaps it’s scarier for mum than baby anyway. I do recall that I was the one who cried when my real child went to school for the first time; he, however, did not even look back. Sigh.
Not to worry, I think I’m pregnant again.