Naked (1)

Publishing a book is showing the world everything you’ve got. Picture: sxc

I’ve wanted to be a writer since the time I realised a biro is not merely a chew toy. And behold, a measly twenty five years later, my first novel hit the stores. For what seemed like an eternity – while writing, mailing with my publisher, choosing a cover, checking out lay-out – I had been looking forward to the moment I would hold my very first book in my hands. Still, it came like a shock to me: people are actually reading it now (well, with any luck, that is). And they might just think it sucks.

Some people compare publishing a book with letting a newborn baby out into the world. They say you can’t do anything but grinding your teeth and hope the readers will love your baby. Those people are grossly underestimating this. You see, the baby comparison would implicate the writer sitting at home behind his desk, safe and unscathed. Nothing could be further from the truth.

You, the writer, have just spent at least a year – but probably longer – toiling on that baby of yours. Every character and every plot twist came right out of your head. Every word in that book has been chosen by you, because it was the best word you could think of. Publishing a book is like saying: “This is the best I’ve got, at this point.”

So forget about the baby. It’s the writer that is showing himself to the world, butt naked. Not enough time, a bit of an off-day, my kid was ill, the dog ate my manuscript… forget it. No excuses possible this time. This is what you are worth. And everybody knows it.

That being said, I have to admit: holding that book in my hands, was pretty neat. 🙂

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