I’m not (completely) insane but I do get feelings that must be similar to how parents feel about their children, except they’re for the books I’ve authored. So I thought I would write about how writing books is like bringing up children.
First an idea is conceived, then there’s the period of planning. After months, (maybe not nine months exactly) in some cases it’s years, the book is finally finished. Imagine being pregnant for that long!
There is the time in between conception (of the original idea) and the book finally being ready to be unleashed on the world (similar to a child growing up and leaving home?) For me, there will be times when I feel like the book I’m writing is the best thing I’ve ever created. Then there will be times when I wish the words on the page would behave themselves, but I could never bring myself to scrap the whole thing or really hold onto any bad feelings about it, because I’m already too emotionally invested. I’ve spent long nights and early mornings and sometimes been woken in the middle of the night by my characters. Yes, I know they’re not real, but isn’t making them real what writing fiction is all about?
During the editing process, I will shape and do your best to make corrections. I aim to be a good author. I hope I know when to let the words wander off in a direction, other than the one I originally intended the book to go. Equally I need to know when to reign in the words for the good of the story.
When the book is released, there’s a mixture of emotions from missing the characters to knowing I did the best I could, putting everything into the whole process. However it’s not over at that point either. The book will also need to be marketed and promoted. Similarly, grown up children might go to their parents for support and encouragement.
I will always feel proud if my book sells, or gets a good review, or a compliment from someone who has read it, making all the difficult times, seem worth it, in the same way a parent feels those emotions about their child’s accomplishments.
So those are the reasons, why I feel like my books are my babies, although admittedly, without all the dirty nappies, but sometimes there are lot of tears and frustration.