I wrote recently in an email, “I am due to deliver my manuscript to a publisher on May 1.” I took a second glance…”due” and “deliver?!” Come on! Well….there is something to this. You see, in my publishing contract, it reads something like, “delivery of manuscript to publisher on May 1.” Okay…and then I interpret that as “being on deadline.” And when one is on a deadline, they often say something is “due.” Follow that goofy riddle?
So, I gave birth to a book this week. Sort of. I delivered a “baby” that has been brewing (“growing?”) inside of me for some 3+ years. Only it was more in my head and heart than anywhere else.
There is no getting around this birth analogy. In fact, some other folks–those way more literary than me–have often said that the process of writing is no different than giving birth. (with a few minor exceptions, of course). Here it goes:
- A need/a want/a desire/a hole on the bookshelf = suddenly checking out every baby you see
- Idea to write book = conception
- First draft = first trimester, complete with sick-to-tummy/’what was I thinking?!’
- Second draft = In the groove. I’m glowing! I am going to be a mommy/author. Let’s paint the nursery
- Third draft = This is hard. I feel like a house, what if I have an ugly baby? I don’t know if I want to do this….baby shower
- Deliver manusript = Deliver a baby
Oh, but of course there are all of those stages of labor. Some ain’t so pretty (for real-life babies, and book babies, too). And then there is that dreaded “fourth trimester” in which nothing fits your “new” body and your baby is fussy and you are still trying to learn all of the “rules” of being a “parent” and/or “author.”
But I know it’s not over. I still have to raise that child (promote that book), and then there will be a day when that child goes off to college (the over-stock bin) and it’s time to do it all over again.
So, you see…I just delivered. Write on!