Becoming an author is a lot like becoming a parent. Conception might look a little different, but there are still parallels. You have the idea of a book, much like you have the idea of a child. If it’s your first, there are many unknowns for which your imagination fills in the blanks. Maybe you read up on the subject or talk to others who have had the experience. You start to associate with people who are in similar circumstances. Some of them have already done this once, or multiple times. They confidently offer advice that largely falls on deaf ears, because you cannot really imagine what it’s like.
The actual writing of the story is like pregnancy, only, in most cases, it takes a lot longer. It’s an emotional journey and this takes you by surprise. There is anticipation, excitement, fear, doubt and mood swings. There is even back pain and swollen ankles, if only for spending too many hours hunched over the laptop.
Finally, the manuscript is done. Or, you’ve reached the 40 week mark. Either way, the work is finished and you become impatient, wanting it to be over. But, in reality, it has only just begun. They don’t call it labor for nothing! All of that editing and rewriting! It’s so painful! Even if you have a good coach, they start to make you irritable, toward the end. There comes a moment when you give up and just want to say, “never mind.”
But there’s no turning back. The last minute details have been completed and everything is ready. You’ve chosen the perfect name and it’s finally going to happen! A few last pushes and there it is. At long last, you are holding your book in your hands, gazing down at it with a sense of wonder and joy. You are overwhelmed by your sense of accomplishment.
Friends and family call and gather to admire your work. They congratulate you. There might be flowers or champagne. Your heart swells with a pride you’ve never known and you are walking on air.
Before long, people start to ask you when they can expect “the next one….”