You Won’t Remember the Pain: Birthing a Book

BirthingABook

I’ve heard authors compare publishing a book to childbirth. Metaphorically, of course. But on that vein of thought, I think I’m in the throws of birthing pains, friends. Someplace Familiar is my “first born” book. She’s gestated for three years, not counting the decade or so I dreamed of her…the possibility of her.

Like all new mothers, one of my biggest struggles as I wait for the book to come to life is self-doubt. Before I had my daughter eight years ago I worried if I had the capacity to properly care for her – her body, her spirit, her happiness. I could barely handle those things for myself. Oh, self-doubt is a quiet, sly foe.

I came across this quote about birthing from Barbara Katz Rothman that made me stop and think…

Birth is not only about making babies.
Birth is about making mothers –
strong, competent, capable mothers
who trust themselves and know their inner strength.

What if we rewrote this for the circumstance of an author publishing a book?

Publishing is not only about making books.
Publishing is about making authors –
strong, competent, capable authors
who trust themselves and know their inner strength.

No child will grow up perfect and without flaws – it’s not in human nature. Likewise, no book will it make it to the digital or brick-and-mortar shelves without mistakes. There will be typos and sentences that could’ve been written better. We authors must remember that if we focus too much on unattainable perfection of our books we risk missing the lessons we learn along the way about our own abilities and strength.

These talents are God given. Placed upon your for such a time as this, in your lifetime and within your influences. You wrote a book! I mean, that’s huge. What’s more…we authors have worked hard on the books to get them to the point of publishing. No small feat.

My daily prayer as I grit my teeth through these labor pains of publishing is that God will help me focus on the journey, and find joy there where exhaustion and hard work threaten to dissuade me from noticing victory.

Once the book is “born,” my newest baby, I’ll forget the pain it took to get her here. Like my own cesarean scar from eight years ago, the memory of trauma will fade and will be replaced with joy and anticipation of what God will do with her life…how she’ll impact others…how she’ll leave the world different, better, than it was before she came.

That’s my prayer. I’ll forget today’s pain.

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