Filed under: On My Mind • September 10, 2014
photo 2

Strange little drawing of a book-baby.

We often hear writers and illustrators refer to their books as their babies, but after just recently having my second “real” baby, I can see that this is REALLY true!

 

For example…

How exciting! You’re pregnant! What will this little one be like? Dream. Dream. Dream. (Your idea incubates and grows in your heart and head).

Then one day it’s time… to struggle, to cry, to fight and labor to get it out! (Writing the first draft)

Finally she’s born! You are so happy, she’s perfect. You did it! Joy joy joy! (First draft is done!)

Then … comes the torture. You realize this isn’t so awesome. What were you thinking?! You’ve made a huge mistake. No sleep, no schedule, no life, and so many diaper changes! (You read it again, it stinks. Rework, rework and rework. Edit and edit after endless edit.)

Then one day…She smiles at you! (You see a glimmer of hope again in your manuscript.) It’s changed a lot. Oh yeah, this is why I went through all that. It might just be worth the pain. She really is pretty cute :)

Then you keep raising her as best as you can. And it takes a village to raise a child as they say. (Husband, friend, critique group, agent, editor… ).

You feel so unfit to do this job. But you keep going because it’s the task that’s been given to you. No one can be a better mom to this kid than you can. (No one can write your story but you.) So you keep going…. (Doubting your story, doubting your calling, you never knew how much work this would be! But you’ve put in too much to quit now.)

Some days will stink. (Rejections.) Some will bring you so much joy. (Requests!)

You’ll take her to story time and play group. You’ll introduce her to the guitar, let her try art lessons, or dance classes to help her figure out who she is. Turns out, she loves┬áto dance! Her dance instructor may see some real talent in her and even ask her to join the company. (An agent takes you on.)

You’ll always be her biggest fan :)

And hopefully…

She’ll grow up into a lovely person (a good book) because of your labor of love. Someone may even tell you that you’ve done a an outstanding job raising her. Maybe a great college or company wants your kid on their team and takes a chance on her (Your book gets published!)

And even though it was a tough journey and being published is awesome…

you’ll probably miss the days when your baby was little… (the process :)

 

 

-Shanda

 

Comments: »

  • love this post!

    Comment by India — September 13, 2014 @ 3:38 am

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Shanda McCloskey, Children's Illustrator & Author