I’ve heard several female authors compare writing a book to having a baby.
I used to think that was such a cool analogy-all creative and emotional, touching on such a personally intimate event. Now that I’m smack dab in the middle of both, I have to be honest –
I don’t get it.
There’s not a whole lot I have to do to keep this baby growing inside me except eat, sleep, and keep checking in with the doctor. Working on this book has been a process unlike any other.
I’m not sure how I thought books magically appeared before this, but I now know it’s so much more than just the accomplishment of putting an idea on paper (even though that is arguably a big deal by itself).
Maybe they meant labor?
It’s true I’ve been spared the rather terrifying experience of actively participating in my children’s births – and by “actively participating” I am implying things like “natural” and “unmedicated” (both of which are strongly discouraged when undergoing a c-section). Either way the whole book-baby-connection is rather lost on me.
Having a baby in many ways is a team effort.
There are trained professionals monitoring countless beeping machines, a variety of meds you can take to dull the pain, and people who come in to clean the mess after you leave. Thank the Lord.
Even if you have second thoughts and aren’t entirely sure you have what it takes to go through with the whole labor-and-delivery-thing, there are several people (baby included) who will make sure you are completely ignored and entirely overruled.
Having a baby is a one way ticket to, well, having a baby.
Self-publishing can feel a bit like a one-woman show.
Yes, there are people who come alongside to cheer you on. Yes, there are people you have to outsource pieces of the project to just to keep yourself sane (and moving in a forward motion).
But nothing in the end will make a book project happen unless you do.
- You have to ride the dream.
- You have to put in the hours of work.
- You have to hold tight to determination and perseverance and get. it. done.
If you don’t, no one else will.
Starting a book for so many authors begins with a dream and ends with life getting in the way.
I hate it when that happens.
There are so many books I’ve read that have profoundly impacted my life. So many stories that have worked their way into the very heart of who I am. So many friends I’ve discovered because of our mutual love of words.
I can’t imagine what my world would be missing if these projects hadn’t been started or finished. It makes me unbelievably grateful to the authors who first committed to themselves, and then to their dream, to see the book through.
This is something I hold onto when I’m tired and feeling overwhelmingly pregnant. This is what I try to remember in the moments self-publishing feels like lonely work.
I need to finish this book for me, and maybe, I need to finish it for you too.
What will it take for you to act on your dream?
You might not be pregnant, and you may never, ever want to write a book.
But I am certain there is the spark of a dream in your heart.
A spark that could be fanned into a flame, or just as quickly be extinguished by the cares of every day life.
The world is waiting. This is a spark only you can make.
What do you need to do today to keep that spark going?