I gave birth to a book.
On July 18th, 12:01 AM following three months of researching, five months of writing, three months of revising and four months of waiting, I gave birth to a healthy, beautiful, 8oz, 9in long book.
This pregnancy was not unlike my first two. It started with a lot of questions.
Q: “How much money does it cost to have a child?”
A: “All the money you have.”
Q: “What does it take to write 40,000 words?”
A: “All the words you have.”
Throughout the gestation I experienced the normal flux of emotions and the roller coaster ride of self-doubt.
“I can’d do this. I don’t want to do this. How did I ever think I could do this? If I don’t do this then this thing will be stuck in me forever.”
When talking about the book, I learned important lessons about how unappealing my doubt could make the book sound.
“Stop justifying the book before you tell me anything about it. You don’t need to apologize for your book. It is what it is and you just have to introduce it to the world.”
Through those lessons and conversations I started to see my book in a new way. I cared less and less about what people thought of it, and I pondered more and more about how much I had cared for it.
It started as just an idea. I grew it through more love and patience than I knew I possessed. When I couldn’t find any more attention to give it, my family stepped in to hold the torch. Now I have to send it off into the world, and I can no longer control what people think about it, or how they react when they meet.
I’ll try to stop talking about how painful labor was and marvel on how good it feels to have it be over. I will share a few more photos than you want to see, I will praise it more than you think it is worth, and I will find a way to bring it up in every conversation we have. I am a proud parent.
I won’t apologize for its size, its blatant imperfections, or even how much it costs. We don’t get to decide these things for our children. I know where it came from, what it took to bring it into this world, and what it means to me now that it is here.
Instead, I’ll just announce the birth of my latest creation, and I hope you’ll find it as intriguing, compelling, and challenging as I did.