Thursday, 15 October 2015

Is it a girl? Is it a boy? Is it a book? - said no midwife ever.

"Your book is your baby!"

"Getting your book published is like giving birth!"

I've never given birth but I'm guessing these statements are a bit far fetched. 

Writing a book is a lot of work but at least it doesn't cry. The only person crying is you because it's taking so long.  

Your book doesn't give you mastitis. At the most it gives you a headache. Possibly a bit of repetitive strain injury. If you prefer vintage methods and are using pen and paper, there's the danger of paper cuts.

Your book does not poo. Although that doesn't mean it isn't crap. The first draft will definitely stink, even though it took you the best part of nine months to create. Ten years if you've had a stab at 'literary fiction*'.

(*Literary fiction is the one where not much happens, but it makes you cry because it's so beautiful and profound. Although you might also be crying because you've just finished reading 400 pages and you don't know what's happened.)

You don't feel unconditional love for your book. If you look too closely, you still see bits you could improve. I don't think you give birth and immediately think, Not bad! But I could have made its ears a bit rounder!  

The biggest difference I guess is, after you give birth you don't usually want to sell your baby, whereas every author wants to sell their freshly born book. The fact that this is actually quite difficult leads to what I'm calling Post Publication Blues. The post natal depression of the book publishing experience.  

There are so many posts on dealing with rejections from agents and publishers, but not so much advice for the writers who have managed to get books published, and still feel they have a long way to go until they 'make it'. How do you keep your morale up when it feels like you're getting nowhere fast?

Well, I've just opened Eckhart Tolle's book Stillness Speaks and read this: 

"Doing one thing at a time", is how one Zen Master defined the essence of Zen. Doing one thing at a time means to be total in what you do, to give it your complete attention. This is surrendered action - empowered action.

I think this translates as TAKE IT ONE STEP AT A TIME. This probably applies to babies and books. 

Reasons to buy my baby #PleaseRetweet

1. It is potty trained and doesn't dribble.
2. It sleeps all through the night.
3. It is well-behaved on planes
5. It's only £2.99

The paperback is available for preorder and will be out on 5th November!


Lindsay said...

Roll on 5th November! I think my novel aka WIP isn't so much a baby as a moody teenager who I'm wishing would get a job (a publisher) and leave home as soon as...

Emily Benet said...

Haha! I think your description is perfect! Don't give up! What happened after you won the dragon/pen pitch thing? Surely it must be finding a 'job' soon? I will be first in queue to buy copies when it does X

Katy Darby said...

Also, most people can make a baby with relatively little conscious effort. A book, not so much! (Speaking as a mother of one book and one baby ...)

Emily Benet said...

True Katy! I couldn't write a book with a hangover for instance... :D