Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Nobody Ever Told Me

The past year was one of the most exciting in my life, as I finished writing my first book and preparing it for publication. The day that I received a check for what I'd done was one of the best highs I'd ever felt, while working with a copyeditor was the equivalent of several years worth of formal training. And then--thud.
I was never a woman who suffered, or could even understand, post-partum depression. How anyone could feel dismal about having an uncomfortable lump in their body transformed into a miniscule human being was incomprehensible to me, until now.
Now that Tone Deaf in Bangkok is completed, and belongs to my publisher rather than to me, I feel desperately bereft and in a state of mild panic. (That this state of mind has descended upon me during the season of deepest darkness and formalized festivities is the maraschino cherry that tops the hot fudge sundae.)
When I finally hold the printed book in my hands, my feelings may change, but who knows? At that point it will have become the creation of a designer, a photographer and a copyeditor--no longer those pieces of paper that were mine all mine. It's like giving birth and having your child grow up and away from you in a matter of months.
And then of course there's the challenge that comes with finishing a first book--can I do it again? Now I understand those women who had stair-step children--they did it because they could--and now it's time to see if I can. Nothing will make me happier than the process of falling in love with an idea, thinking it over, and turning out many, many sheets of white paper covered in print. The rest, as Raymond Carver said, is gravy.

8 comments:

Eugene Latt said...

I can't wait to read your book,Janet.

Janet Brown said...

I can't wait to meet you, Eugene.

Kim said...

Oh Janet, welcome to the world of being a published writer. It's miserable and glorious all at the same time! Kim

May Burma said...

congratulations! I am also trying to write a book. I need a publisher as well. Who is your publisher? anyway I need to finish the book first.

Janet Brown said...

May, you shouldn't have trouble finding a publisher when your book is finished. Interest in your country is sky-high right now.

Vladimir @ Fantastic Planet said...

On this, the last day of the year I offer up this advice:
Pretend the actual writing/editing portion of a book is the act of birthing and raising the 'child' until it's ready to go to-- college; that's the publishing end of this equation... Y
ou can't really control what your kid gets up to in college; likewise your book.

Just let yourself become obsessed about the next glorious thing swimming inside your mind and figure out a way to nurture it... 'Sophomore slump' is for those who wanted to be a "writer", rather than those who NEED to write.
You, miss Janet, I think are made of the latter.

Happy New Year! XOXOX

Eugene Latt said...

Happy New Year!
I really hope to see you too.Please,contact me eugenelatt@gmail.com and/or my cell phone 095+095121260.

Katia said...

AH ! Now I know why you named your blog like that. Maybe I should have gone to the beginning first :) Congratulations on the publication of your first book. I'm in the same boat, and I also worry about... having another one published, now.