Birthing a Book

Louise and I were sitting under a tree when it happened.  The sun was beating down on us, so we had taken shelter under a maple tree to enjoy a cool drink and a chat.  The final layout of my book River of the Stick Wavers had been sitting in my inbox for the past week and I was having a hard time letting go of it.  Once I hit the File Approved – No Changes Requiredbutton that would be it.  No more opportunities to make changes to my book.  It would now go out into the world and it would be judged.  After five years of hard work I would either be devastated or elevated with the simple judgement of thumbs up, or thumbs down.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen next,” I said to Louise.  And how would I?  I’ve never published a book before.  I know that FriesenPress is going to help me set up an author website.  And they will talk to me about marketing.  But I am the one who has to make the decisions and keep things moving in order to sell my book.  There is still much work to be done to get it launched, but in that moment it was like I couldn’t make a move until I took one simple, yet earth shattering, step to push a button that would send my manuscript into cyberspace and change my life forever. What will it all mean?  What will I be doing next? Where will this journey take me?  Will people like my book?  I don’t know.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.

Make room to move.

It was then that Louise told me a story about when she gave birth to her first child.  She was afraid to let the baby come because she felt so uncertain of the outcome.  The nurse recognized what was happening and said to her, “You’re holding on to this baby because you’re afraid.  All you have to do is give one final push and the baby will come.” And so she did, and she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, who thirty years later, grew up to become a wonderful human being. Sounds like a fairy tale doesn’t it?  But like all fairy tales, this one has a good dose of reality attached to it.

Louise’s story reminded me that if I was going to move forward I had to make one final push and let my own creative child be born.  The rest would take have to take care of itself.

Dare to be a little fish in a big pond.

By releasing my book into the world, it has allowed room for a shift to occur within me.  Now I can start thinking about the next thing.  For me, this means catching up on my posts, taking things to the next level with marketing my book, even working on my next novel.  That doesn’t even take into account unknown opportunities that may present themselves.

I think there’s a time in each of our lives when we’re afraid to give birth to something new.  Perhaps all we need is for someone to recognize our fear and give us words of encouragement, like Louise gave to me, and her nurse gave to her.  It’s OK to be afraid of the unknown.  But all you have to do is give one final push and your creative child will be born.  Maybe it’s book, a new job, or a move.  Go on.  You can do it.  And then with a Whoosh! You have made room for a new life to begin.

Categories: Memoir

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