I’ve been thinking that writing a book, particularly one with many thousands of words, is like giving birth and raising a child.
First, you have to rip that baby out of you with many hours of sweat and tears. Then, the hard work begins. You have to guide that baby, as unique and beautiful and precious as they are on their own, into the grown human you know they can become.
And just as in real life, a village will raise your child. It includes your critique group. You know they are raising this child with you. You will need critiques from editors, both paid, and unpaid via rejections. Just as your human children learn and grow from their mistakes, so too will your book baby. You will require the encouragement and support of your real family while you juggle raising this child to adulthood.
You will probably never be paid much money for raising this child. In fact, you may have to pay out cash to join SCBWI, attend workshops, and pay for professional critiques.
But hopefully, at the end of it all, you can confidently say that you are proud of what you created. That you did everything you could, and your ‘child’ is going to make the world a better place.
We write because we have no choice: the stories must be told.