We write the end and sit back with a satisfied smile. Deep contentment fills our soul. Our baby has come to full term. Our book is written and edited.
Now we're ready to give birth, to publish. We close our eyes and picture how our precious baby will look once it makes its appearance on the shelf at Barnes and Noble.
It will be the most beautiful baby ever--with a glossy cover and beautiful artwork. And it will smell heavenly, the way all babies do--like fresh cut paper and ink. Surely everyone will ooh and ahh over our baby and proclaim how much they love it.
All it takes is one squeezing painful cramp, and our dreams evaporate. We're faced with the harsh reality that we still need to go through labor, quite possibly a long, intense, and agonizing labor before we can hold that sweet-smelling baby in our hands.
Some of us may have false labor pains. We think it's time for our baby to make its appearance into the world of publishing. We send out our queries and if we're lucky we have a kind agent or editor take the time to tell us our baby is not quite ready, that we still need to give it time to grow.
Others of us may start labor in earnest. Our baby is ready for publication, but now we face the seemingly endless days, weeks, and months of painful rejections and all the waiting that goes between each one.
We begin to wonder if our baby will ever be born. During especially difficult times, we may scream out, "Why am I doing this to myself? What was I thinking? Why would any sane person willingly put themselves through this? Did I make a mistake?"
As much as we would like to avoid labor, we can't. The process of finding an agent and editor is excruciating. We don't get epidurals. We have to face the pain. If we're lucky, we might not have to wait too long. But more often than not, the process tests our endurance to the limits.
In today's flooded market, finding an agent or editor may indeed be the hardest experience we go through. But it's a labor that we can't give up on. It will birth our babies eventually, if we keep pushing, gritting our teeth, screaming and ranting a little, but ultimately holding onto the hope that it will end with the delivery of a dream-come-true.
How's your labor going? False labor pains? Short? Long? Never-ending? We all love a good labor story! Please share yours!