If you spend any time reading about the writing craft, you will come across a comparison of an author’s work to a baby. I’ve used it myself in this blog. It fits so well. There is a definite gestational period where flashes of insight or inspiration begin to develop into a story. That is followed by painful labor during which a monitor attached to the writer is marked by erratic ups and downs. This is followed by the joy of birth, pride in holding the tiny little creation in your hands, and the incessant urge to show it off to everyone you meet.
Then—reality sets in—that is just Chapter 1.
The rest of your life is to be dominated caring for your creation. It’s a part of you and you love it, but it demands constant care and attention that will tax your patience, goad you into embarrassing situations, and leave you exhausted.
As one year ends and the next arrives, it is time to plan for your little one’s future. “Oh, the places you will go” and now is the time to think of those places. Books are old school. Like the children of the old school, they do not like to sit at home. They want to be out in the world and go to new places. Lacking legs and a driver’s license, they look to their birth parent to take them.
Most new authors don’t realize they signed up for this the moment they began to write with an eye to publish. That ecstatic moment of creation comes with a price. An old song says: “So don’t forget folks, that’s what you get folks for makin’ whoopee.”
In some ancient societies, a flawed or unwanted baby was taken out into the wilderness and left to die. Sadly, there are authors who still maintain this practice. The rest arrange play dates, load up the family car, and take the kids on adventures to fairs, festivals, and assorted get-togethers with families who share the same joys and troubles.
The whole process is time-consuming and costly, heartbreaking and joyous. Which, once again, describes the trials and triumphs of parenthood. There’s no use complaining about this state of affairs, and they don’t get cheaper by the dozen.