Congratulations . . . it's a book!

Writing is a lot like being pregnant. You're so excited to have a new idea, and saddened if it doesn't grow into anything. If it does start to grow, there is a certain awkward phase where none of your old ideas fit. This one is different, important, needs its own slant and creative process. This one needs much more attention. You can't sleep at night, you can't seem to concentrate, you feel a little dizzy trying to work it all out. But finally, everything starts to click, and you are ready to devote yourself to the completion of this story.

You set up the right environment for its survival: energizing drink, nurturing music, foods that help brain activity but which satisfy those writerly cravings. You make sure you have all the right information, 'cause you don't want to be one of those dumb writing people who raise their book like it wrote itself. No, you want to know how to edit and plot and create settings.

Your book grows. It's almost too big, you can barely handle having it around anymore. Someone's got to help you get this thing out the door, if it will fit out the door! But wait, there's a query letter and a synopsis. Okay, a round of visits to the experts has set you up for getting this thing out into the world.

You finish the book. Yay! How exciting! But wait . . . there's something wrong, your book needs a little fresh air or it's not going to make it. Here, let's add this, we can patch that part . . . why does it keep spewing backstory?! Ew! You're gonna need a lot of clean edits to get that puppy back in shape. One day you open the document, you haven't slept a wink, this is never going to work, why in the hell did you ever think you could be a writer? Oh, wait, look, it's happy. It's smiling at me. My book is cooing! You start to cry.

Time to query.

Rejection. Your book has problems with attention, it's all over the place. All the other books are laughing at it. It's probably never going to make it past the bargain bin at Barnes and Noble.

But I love my book. I'll never abandon it. It's beautiful to me. Maybe if we just spend a little bit more time with it everything will be okay . . .

One day you open your email and there's a message. I love your book, send it on over.

Whoooooooo! Party! Relief. Full on pants leak. This is AWESOME. I knew I could do this. I was born to be a writer. I love it, even the bad parts, the all-night-I-am-the-worst-and-no-one-else-can-convince-me-otherwise parts. All of it. So what if all my old stories don't fit anymore, it was all worth it.

Here I go, writing the next one . . .


  1. Just adding, I haven't actually gotten an acceptance yet. Maybe this spring, ya never know. Don't get your hopes up. Actually, just forget I even mentioned the word acceptance. I need a shrink.

  2. I thought you were describing my book. Sounds like our books could be friends.

    And thanks for the clarification. I thouht maybe you had gotten an offer.

    It will come.

  3. The offer will come - I'm sure of that too, Amy. It's just the roller coaster you have to ride before hand. xxxx

  4. Someday! But I'm just happy writing stories right now. I truly live for it.

  5. You've got the whole process down! :) It *is* like a baby. Shame the labour is so hard!


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