In the first trimester, no really even knows what’s going on unless you tell them. Your husband finds out you’re not as interested in him and you’re up at all hours possibly throwing up. This goes for both sides of the metaphor.
As your stomach grows people take notice. They may want to feel your belly (read what you’ve written). You share ultrasound pictures which ninety percent of the public can’t even tell what it is, but they all say it’s adorable. In other words your family and friends read your book.
Now comes the uncomfortable third trimester when you waddle and have to pee every five minutes. Otherwise known in the writing world as submitting to publishers/agents. Now for some this lasts forever, others get picked up right away. Whichever it was for you, we all had the pain that comes along with that. False labor, returned, but rejected submissions. Back pain, from secretly cyber stalking the people you submitted to. And the worst of all, those people that ask if you’re having twins because you’re sooooooo huge. Otherwise know as the people saying “you’re not published yet?” Right because it’s that easy and people do it in a few months.
Finally you go into labor, aka get a contract. Suddenly you’re sent into a spin as you fill out forms for a cover you may or may not actually have a say in. Some publishers give you drugs so you don’t have to feel the pain of labor or editing. Let me warn you now, run from those publishers. Sure it feels good to only have surface pain, but you need that pain so you appreciate all your work.
We’ve now entered the hard labor part of your book coming out. This part seems to go fast at moments and drag at others. You’re head may be a little bit fuzzy and although there may be documented proof this all occurred you will forget ninty percent of it. There’s a reason for this, it’s so you’ll have more kids.
You’ll have to push, you may bite at your editor because it’s all his/her fault that you’re going through this. When you’re almost done you’re ready to give up, you’re so damn tired of seeing the same lines over and over. You can’t stand the story you loved for months. You don’t care and you just want to go to sleep and pretend it never happened. Then your editor does what they always do… snap at you to put your big girl panties on and finish this because your deadline is also theirs. So you push through, all night long crunching on ice chips (or a pan of brownies… no judgment) to get it out by the last possible moment.
With a scream a goo covered baby is delivered. Sure a copy editor takes your baby to a bath and now it smells wonderful and before you know it’s on display on social media like Simba being held up before all the animals.
You’re fearful. You’re not sure if they will accept your book as a good thing or not. Sure you have Scar grumbling because he’s not as loved in the background, but whether your book some day leads the pride and becomes a best seller. Or if it sits with virtual dust covered on an ebook shelf you’re proud of it. It’s your baby and even though it was surreal at moments once you cradle it in your arms, you’ll realize you love it more than you ever thought you could. A few words that resemble you will take off on their own and before you know it you’ll be wanting another one. Small and needing you to feed it so it grows big and strong.
On a side note, my son turns 14 next week, so in honor of one of my babies that I’m so proud of, even when I get a one star review, I’d like to dedicate this blog to him. Happy Birthday Jacob, even when you go off on your own I’m glad you’ll still have that little bit that resembles me so you’ll always know where you came from.