In this stage of my life, I am in the midst of doing a number of different things. At any given time, I am in various stages of writing a book. Right now, I am working on putting a book out with The Writer's Coffee Shop, so I am going through editing, cover design, and other exciting details. I have also moved on to writing my next novel, which I am calling "Accept this Dandelion."
When I am not writing, which is most of the time, I am playing with, feeding, changing, loving, and caring for my two daughters. Since most of my time is spent with my children, I think about them more than anything else. That led me to correlate how writing a book is somewhat like raising a child. Here's how...
When you write a book of the fiction sort, you are creating something completely new. You get to decide how many characters you have, what their names will be, and what they do. When you have a child, you get to make a lot of decisions as well. Name, for example. What he or she will wear and so on. You also have a large say in how the child will be raised and who she will be when she grows up because of your influence.
When I write a book, the characters bug me. The plot line sticks in my head. I find myself creating a scene in my mind in the middle of the night. Until I have the book completed, it haunts me day and night. Children are a little harder to get off the mind! They also stick in your mind day and night. Partly because of your love for them and partly because they simply never leave you alone. :) Someday, I will wake up at night and wonder what they are doing, but at this particular stage, I wake up in the middle of the night BECAUSE of what they are doing.
When you write a book, it is part of you and whether the writing is good, bad, ugly, or something in between, you love it. You love it because you put your heart and soul into it. You love it because you created it. You love it because it came from somewhere deep inside you. You love it because it's yours. When you have a child, loving a book seems silly. Love for a child is unlike any other love. You love your child because she is. You love her when she's naughty...when she's muddy...when she's sticky...and even when she wakes you up countless times in the night. You love your child when she interrupts your work on your latest book as well.
When you write a book, you can spend weeks or even months re-reading everything you have written and changing commas here and words there. Eventually, however, you have to let it go. Whether you are self-publishing, turning it over to a traditional publisher, or simply printing it out for your family, once the book is complete, you have to move on. My children are young, but I have heard that eventually, you have to let them go as well. Whether or not all of the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed, they have to venture out on their own and be who you helped them become. I do not plan on being good at letting my children go. I will gladly hand my books over, however. :)
Writing a book has a lot of similarities to raising a child. I am blessed beyond belief to be able to say that I am doing both at the same time. When I create a book, give it attention, love it, and put it out into the world, I hope that those who read it enjoy it as much as I have. I can say the same about my children knowing that no matter how much anyone else loves and enjoys them, they will always be mine.