Birthing Your Creative Baby

The other day, I was visiting with a group of writers, one of whom had finished a second major revision of her book and was about to start a third. “It’s like birthing a baby, isn’t it?” One of the other writers said.  “Yeah, a breech baby,” my friend responded.

There is nothing quick or easy about writing a book. The writers who make it look easy likely worked much harder and longer than you or I will ever realize. I’m releasing my newest book soon, and I can’t tell you how many hundreds of hours went into producing “just a children’s book.”  I can tell you, though, that the amount of time I spent revising the book equals the amount of time I spent writing it!

Those writers (and other artists) who brag about how quickly they produced a certain work don’t always tell the whole story. “I wrote my book in 30 days,” they say. What they don’t tell you is that for those 30 days, writing is practically all they did. And they don’t often count the time they spent in revision after their 30-day baby was reviewed by a trusted reader or editor.

“Anything worth doing is worth doing well.” I remember hearing that old adage often when I was a child. I keep it at heart whenever I start a new project, but it’s not always easy. As the very long process of researching, writing, producing, and promoting a book unfolds, it’s often tempting to cut corners.

But just as any good mother does her best to nurture the child in her womb, bring him safely into the world, and raise him well, any good artist does his/her best to bring art into existence that we hope adds something of value to the human experience.

So to all you artists out their toiling long and hard on your new works, know that we appreciate your efforts. Your babies are beautiful!

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