Hello everyone! Thank you, Laura, for hosting me today as we go on tour for my second book, Forged which launches this Friday! To kick off the tour I take a look at comparing my first two books to giving birth. :0)
A writers work, much like her children vary from child to child; book to book.
A close girlfriend of mine recently gave birth. It was a difficult labor, 54 hours with 4 hours of that as pushing. Most of you will probably gasp at this and say oh my god, how is that possible? As a woman who is looking to someday embark on that voyage I took her experience to heart and as I sat down to write this blog post I realized, it’s quite easy to find yourself in 54 hours of labor. Especially if you’re strong in mind, and strong in body and have an excellent support network, you can do anything that seems impossible. My first book came about in a very similar fashion.
Much like the 54 hour labor marathon, you don’t enter it with the intent to do nearly three days of laboring. You enter it thinking, we can do this, others have done it before. Sure, it will take time and effort, but I’ve got both of those things. On my first published book, The Legend of Lady MacLaoch, I started it by saying I’m going to write a short story about a woman who goes to Scotland. Next thing I knew I’d written a novel. Little did I know, at the time, that that was the easy part. It felt flush and exhilarating; I was energized because I believed I was nearly done. But, in fact, I was only halfway there, I had yet to embark on the most brutal part of my publishing journey, editing and professional review.
The last four hours of labor, when my friend was pushing her baby girl into this world, were the most physically strenuous. For fifty hours before those last four, she had maybe a cumulative of an hour or two worth of sleep, had stood, squatted, and focused her breathing all to be ready to “push”. Just when the last of your edits are completed, you enter this phase. The Push. You cannot rest, your mind is weary from reading your novel for the one hundredth time. And for the first novel, you’ve got a heavy dose of panic because you’ve no idea of what to expect. Will the print version have an edit that everyone missed? Will readers even like it? Maybe the editor was right, maybe I do need to rewrite chapter 25, paragraph 7. How do I get the word out? And will I ever want to put pen to paper again?
Then it happens. You’re published, and like Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird says,
“There is something mythic about the date of publication, and you actually come to believe that on this one particular morning you will wake up to a phone ringing off the hook and your publisher will be so excited that they will have hired the Blue Angels precision flying team to buzz your squalid little hovel, which you will be moving out of as soon as sales of the book really take off. . . then I waited for the phone to ring. The phone did not know its part. It sat there silent as death with a head cold…”It is silent on the date of publication. Much like a baby slipping into the world, or at least that holds true for the first few seconds that it slips into the world. The quiet seconds before her sweet voice fills the birthing room with her first auditory declarations: I have arrived!
The second novel though, is much easier than the first. It is much more deliberate in a writer’s actions, because you know what’s coming. You know what to edit out, you know when to cut off your sentence before it becomes a run-on. You know how to make your point sooner, and spend less time being flummoxed at the amount of red ink on your edited document and simply make changes and move on. My second book, Forged, arrives October 26th, and I’m ecstatic. This journey, much like laboring a second child came with more calm and ease than the first.
Thank you Laura for hosting me today, and from one writer to the next: may you have days filled with brilliant insights and unequivocal eloquence.
Becky Banks is the award-winning author of The Legend of Lady MacLaoch. Her newest novel, Forged releases October 26th. Get it FREE all week on the Kindle, October 22nd - 26th.
|Available through Amazon Oct. 26.|