Friday, September 5, 2008

The Birth of a Book

“Only amateurs say they write for their own amusement. Writing is not an amusing occupation. It is a combination of ditch-digging, mountain-climbing, treadmill and childbirth. But amusing? Never.” – Edna Ferber

Until recently I believed everything Edna said in the above quote except the part about childbirth. Now that my baby, The Ride, has been pushed out into the world, I’m thinking the woman really knew what she was talking about.

First, there’s the conception: The time when ideas jump into your head and you can’t wait to write them down.

Then a period of morning sickness: You begin to receive rejects making you doubt your decision to have a baby in the first place.

Next comes the excitement of the first kick: That glorious day when you open your mailbox to find a contract with your name on it.

A seemingly endless period of gestation and false labor pains follows: This is the point where the book has entered the publication process. Faced with edits and rewrites you begin to believe the baby will never make her appearance and you will be stuck in this uncomfortable limbo forever.

Finally, the miracle of birth: This is the moment you hold a fresh, off the press, copy of your book in your hand.

But, the similarities do not end there for me because after a moment or two of pure euphoria gazing at my new arrival this week, my body was seized by conflicting emotions.

Panic: Wondering if I had the ability to make the right decisions that will nurture this tiny creature and help her grow to her fullest potential.

Awe: I had actually played a big role in introducing a new creation to the world.

Concern: That my life will never be the same again and I’ll never have another free moment all to myself.

Distress: Knowing that whether I wanted to hear it or not, some people were going to insist on comparing my baby to the millions of other babies out there.

Fear: Recognizing that although my baby was special in her own unique way, she may not measure up to another person’s standard of excellence.

Now I only need to convince myself that the birthing process for The Ride wasn’t that bad so that I can begin to repeat the procedure all over again for book number two.

After writing this essay, I ran across a blog by Danyelle Ferguson on the Top 10 Reasons
Why Having a Baby is Easier Than Writing a Book
by Karlene Browning. It’s a pretty funny list and a totally different take on the idea. You can find the list at

Thanks for stopping by. See you next week.

Jane Kennedy Sutton
Author of The Ride

Tags: The Ride, Archebooks, Edna Ferber, Danyelle Ferguson , Karlene Browning , Top 10 , conception, writing a book, labor pains,

1 comment:

Karlene said...

Thanks for linking to my article. :)

Jane's Ride - Novelist Jane Kennedy Sutton's journey through the ups and downs of the writing, publishing and marketing world