Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Giving book birth

No babies were harmed in the making of
this image (I hope).
The writing of a book is kind of like the conception of a child -- fun, on the whole, provided it doesn't take too many do-overs or require the daily monitoring of one's temperature to ensure that the whole thing isn't an effing waste of time, with nothing but a sore 'back' and worn weary sheets to show for your efforts.

But the publishing and promotion of a book, that couldn't be more like the giving birth part of producing a child if it bled and wailed and tore at your tender bits till you said: 'stuff this, I've changed my mind. Let's get a dog.'

The only difference between delivering a book and a baby is that the reward part -- the publishing --comes first, followed by the labour pains of promotion, a pain for which there is no known drug relief (I've investigated a few), and no known end. After my first month of promotion contractions even the snarliest of dogs on our local beach are starting to look appealing.

In truth, though I do have three, more or less well children, I was next to useless at the giving birth part and fear I am not altogether acing the promotion part of this book birthing business either. I am doing my best, of course, but as with the baby birthing business, my best seems to be proving inadequate to the task, to the point that, eventually, men in white coats with long faces and forms for loved ones to sign will be brought in.

I don't seem to know when to push and when to pull back and pant patiently, you see, and don't take as kindly as some to being told. Then, before you know it (34 hours later) they tell you the baby is in distress and your husband (number one support person and reader) is asleep.

Still, I do have an exceptionally high pain threshold -- as you will know having read my dance memoir -- so I'm not done in yet. The one saving grace of the book birthing business is that there's no biological clock to say your time's up. You can do it, if necessary, on your death bed, which, at the rate I'm going, looks increasingly likely.          

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