My new book is released today. The lead-up to this has left me thinking about the similarities between launching a book and giving birth to a baby.
Like a baby, this book has been part of you for many months (in this case, years.) You alone have nurtured and protected it. You alone have known it as it came to life, took shape and grew. It carries your DNA, the very essence of yourself, of who you are. There is a bond between you and it that nobody who has not had the experience could possibly understand.
However, you cannot hold this baby within you forever, or it will die. The time has come to push it out into the glare of the world, where it will face the scrutiny of strangers. Does it really have the requisite ten fingers and ten toes? Do all its functions operate as they are supposed to? It is a bitter-sweet experience, seeing your baby for the first time “in the flesh” yet at the same time knowing that it is not longer exclusively yours.
Of course, you will still lavish love, care and attention upon this child. But more and more, like a baby growing to childhood and on to adulthood, it will have to stand on its own two feet. It will be judged according to its own qualities, not according to yours. People will not come to know it by knowing you, but rather will come to know you by knowing this child you have produced. The opinions they form will depend upon how successfully you have instilled your values into it.
Essentially, giving birth - or releasing a book - is the beginning of a long letting go: setting this child/book free into a world that may either accept it or reject it, and knowing that ultimately it will stand or fall according to what it is, not according to who gave it birth.
Read more about my new book at http://rrr.lynnbfowler.com