Writing a Book is Like Having Your First Baby

Danielle Herzog

This article, entitled Writing a Book is Like Having Your First Baby comes from Danielle Herzog's blog Martinis and Minivans at martinisandminivans.com.

If you have been reading the blog for awhile, you know that I’m in the process of writing a book. I was recently part of the anthology called The Mother of All Meltdowns, but even before that, I had started to write a memoir about the ten years my grandmother and I wrote letters to each other. It’s a book that is a complete labor of love.

I saved every letter she ever wrote me so the process not only includes writing about that time but also reviewing and determining what information from the letters is applicable to share.

I would say that this process is easily comparable to what you experience after having your first baby. Let me explain.

When you first start writing, it feels like a baby is born. You are excited about it and can’t stop staring at it and looking at it. You tell everyone about it and watch the joy on people’s faces when they see/hear about it.

Then, there’s that first person who tells you that your baby should really be wearing a hat in 40 degree weather. You know they are right but you don’t exactly love being criticized – no matter how nice they are. That’s the editing process.

Then, there’s the denial. The belief that you can take the baby to a restaurant and it will totally stay quiet and sleep because it normally does that at this time of day at home. Except, you are wrong, so so wrong and the baby cries the entire time. That denial is exactly like the one you feel when you think you can work on your book as the kids are watching Chuggington. You soon realize that they want you to wipe their nose and are scared of the mean diesel train coming down the track.

But then, they sleep through the night and you think – finally. Finally I’m going to get some sleep. And what happens? Frick frackin’ teething. For writing, that basically is the same thing as your computer freezing without recently saving. Just when you have poured your cup of tea, the kiddos are asleep, the husband is downstairs watching football, and you are ready to edit, the computer decides to screw with you.

So yes. Having children has truly prepared me to write a book. And in the end, they will both make me mentally insane yet insanely happy at the exact same time – and that’s exactly what I love about it all.



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