Why Writing a Book is Probably a Lot Like Having a Baby

Okay. Have I ever actually had a baby? No. But I’ve watched Baby Mama with Tina Fey probably 200 times, so I’d say I’m in a pretty good place to make this judgement call. For the past year, I’ve been writing a novel about time travel, which I hope to put on Kindle by summer – but more on that later. Now, here’s the thing that nobody tells you about writing a book – it’s pull-your-hair-out, cry-alone-in-the-shower, curse-the-sky, go-for-long-bike-rides-and-never-return difficult.

Kind of like having a baby.

Anyways, I made a little list for you – because you know I love lists – to illustrate just how totally right I am about this comparison. 

1. Nine Months

It takes nine months to grow a baby and nine months to come up with a decent first chapter that hasn’t already been written. See? We’re off to a good start, here. You’re still totally optimistic this whole thing is a grand idea that will change your life for the better. Feeding at 2 a.m.? Got it. Ten hours of rewrites? Aint no thing! Either way, sleepless nights are on the calendar. Seriously, why are you freaking out so much? THIS IS THE BEST IDEA EVER!

2. Side Effects

Nausea, weight gain, sleepless nights, swollen feet…okay, maybe not swollen feet. The symptoms of writer’s block and pregnancy have an awful lot in common. Though an author’s ailments are entirely self-inflicted, it doesn’t make them any less real. But it doesn’t matter – this is the price you pay for greatness, right? One day, you’re going to look back and laugh about those carrot chunks you threw up in your hair. Right? Right…

3. Labor

It gets easier, they said. You can do this, they said. This is the point where you start to realize your friends are lying bags of crap. Like having a baby, the end is the ugliest phase in birthing the next great American novel. The closer you get to the end,  the more certain you become that your book is a total piece of trash. Oh no. nonononono. This is horrible. No, this novel is horrible! What were you thinking?! It’s official. You’re going to be a literary William Hung. FOR LIFE.

4. Delivery

Okay, folks. IT JUST GOT REAL. You can see the end in sight, and you’ve totally changed your mind about this entire baby/book thing. No biggie. But really, are you even ready for this? No, definitely not. You don’t know jack squat about being a parent/author. Retreat, men, RETREAT! While you’re off losing your marbles, your friend/significant other now steps up to the plate and drags you through the door of completion, like a dog anxiously mid-crap in the vet office lobby.

5. Afterbirth

“OMG, how was it?!” all of your oddly preteen-sounding friends ask. “Piece of cake! It just came [to/out of] me,” you say, flipping your hair all nonchalantly. Your new-found sense of accomplishment has totally clouded your judgement, and you just know your creation is the best out there. Because it is. Obviously. You, my friend, YOU are the champion. From nothing, you have generated a completely new person – literally and fictitiously. Now, go! Bask in the glory of your work to the magical melody of Queen.

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One thought on “Why Writing a Book is Probably a Lot Like Having a Baby

  1. Pingback: As Told by Laura

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