To keep up with my spoooooky Halloween theme, I’ve decided to share the scariest things about finishing a book (now that it’s about done… for reals! I promise!).
First off, this whole post compares writing a book to raising a child, so get ready for insane analogies. Sound ridiculous? Here’s crazy analogy #1:
My child started off an ugly little thing, barely a speck. Sure it was a speck on paper, but I can compare that to an ovum (or whatever it’s called). It’s since grown into a well-rounded adolescent.
Right now, my book is about to head off to college and begin it’s own life. And the idea I’m about finished with my responsibilities is scary. Here are the things that scare me the most:
1. The possibility that it’s really not finished.
Imagine packing and sending your child off to college. You tell yourself, He’s going to become someone important! Three months later, you get the call.
“Can I come home for a while?”
Next thing you know, he’s 30, living in your basement, and playing World of Warcraft 18 hours a day.
I think all parents have that worry in the back of their heads: Did I raise my child properly?
The same goes for me. I fear the book will crash and burn. Maybe someone will uncover a huge plot hole. Or the subject matter will become irrelevant in the near future.
2. Deciding what to do with your baby.
When a kid goes out on her own, she’s faced with so many tough decisions. Does she go to junior college, run off to a huge university, join the army, or take some time off? The worst thing about deciding is that, more often than not, some decisions aren’t wrong or right. That just makes picking tougher.
Now that the book is about done, I’m struggling with the same decisions. When my baby bird flees the nest, where does she go? Does she self-publish or submit herself to agents/publishers?
No matter what happens, I’ll always have that tiny fear in the back of my head saying, “Maybe you should have done X instead of Y.”
Go home, stupid voice! You’re drunk!
3. Figuring out what’s next for me.
When we were kids, Mom constantly kicked me and my siblings out of the house. Summers were an exercise in “Find something outside to do… all day, every day”. I remember digging through water meters looking for frogs, destroying our fence playing dodgeball, trying to learn to ollie on a skateboard (it’s impossible), etc…….
When the last sibling left for college, Mom suffered the worst empty nest syndrome. Suddenly, she begged us to come back, any time, any place. She even visited for Thanksgiving and, before heading back home, casually said, “Why don’t I just stay through Christmas?”
I’ve heard of tons of parents suffering from this: they just don’t know what to do with themselves as they were full-time Moms and Dads for so long.
I’m worried I’ll experience a bit of empty nest sydrome myself. My baby bird has flown the nest. Now what do I do?
I’ve been talking with some writers and they INSIST I begin the second book in the series. Readers don’t like to wait, and I get that.
If I compare this to the whole parenting process, I guess it means I need to get busy. Or biz-zay (cue porn music!)