Giving Birth to a Book – A New Writer’s Diary
I am a writer. It took a lot of courage to write that down years ago. Today is the first Monday in a long time that I didn’t wake up with work to do in my book. Well, writing work at least. After years of working on the manuscript of my spiritual memoir, God’s Patient Pursuit of My Soul, it is finally in the hands of my copy editor. Well, it will arrive there tomorrow.
Birthing a book involves much waiting and as many phases and checkpoints as birthing a baby. A book’s cells are its words. Unlike a human baby, a book does not multiply, divide and organize its cells as it grows. The author must do this consciously, with ever-evolving decisions. The author’s mind becomes the placenta that forms around the embryo or book. The writer’s mind, through which all nutrition for the developing book will pass, allows ideas, feelings, and images to exchange as words, characters, scenes, and chapters. Some grow as it develops, others get deleted as waste.
During the embryo’s second week, a group of cells separates to develop into the amnion, the membrane that will surround the fetus to form the embryonic sac. This fluid-filled sac helps to cushion the fetus during later development. A writer must create his or her cushion of protection and isolation during the book’s development. It is not automatic. This cushion is a challenge because of the book’s invisibility at this stage and for many stages to come. A writer receives nutrients during ordinary moments in life. The words multiply on the page only when the writer makes a meal of those nutrients with paper and pen, laptop, or other electronic devices.
To be continued…