Thursday, June 29, 2006

New mom to my emerging book

I have a new title for my first non-fiction book. It has sat comfortably for over a week with me. I think this one will stick, at least until the publisher gets a hold of it.

On Saturday morning I met with a mom, a friend from my Haas days about one of the most difficult chapters of my book. When I told another mom I was writing this chapter, she gave me a horrified look and said with a pregnant pause "That's a weighty topic.". Frankly I agree, but it belongs in the book. My friend thought overall it had the right tone, style and content. Such relief.

I feel like a new mom to this book. I feel like the book chose me and it's not an easy child. It keeps me up at night. It makes me cry. It makes me relive a year I'd rather forget. Sometimes I feel just as bewildered as any new mom. But at last, with some helpful comments, the book proposal has passed from its ugly and awkward newborn stage to a more polished adult form.

As a new mom at times I knew I was winging it and I feared the authorities would find out this gimp had this baby girl and come take her away. I don't feel nearly as scared and insecure as I did in the first few weeks of motherhood. It is after all just a book. And I also know a lot more about writing than I did about motherhood. But I've also learned that just admitting it out loud helps a lot.

On Saturday I was pleasantly surprised. I half expected the mom to tell me 'bad things'. Instead she said it was really good. I'm competent. I don't suck. I accomplished something really difficult.

I still have a long way until a complete book, but amazingly I'm a third of the way there. Part of me knows how this happened since I sat there pounding away on the keyboard, and gods know the revisions have been painful, but part of me is as amazed as any mom. "Look at how it's grown!" I exclaim.

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