Jennifer Gilby Roberts

Women's Fiction/Chick Lit Author

On Letting Your Babies Go

on December 1, 2013

I read a quote from a writer a while back that writing a book is like being pregnant: by the end, you’re just desperate to push that baby out.  This is true, but then once you’ve done it you panic.  Your baby is now out in the world.  And, unlike with an actual baby, people are not all going to coo over it.  Some people won’t like it.  And, sooner or later, someone is going to give it a one star review and tell everyone else that it’s not worth the space on their Kindle.

You try not to take it personally, but it’s hard.  Because anything you write tells people a lot about you.  Whether you meant it to or not, your story will give away a lot about your values, interests and how you see the world.  One of my new friends commented that she felt she really knew me after reading my first novel.  She probably knows a lot more than would have come up in casual conversation.  Maybe even some things that I didn’t mean anyone to find out.

With book two, you have a new fear.  Maybe you’re a one-hit wonder and every review will end with ‘not as good as the first one’.  As if putting the first one out there wasn’t scary enough.  Plus I’ve spent loads of money on the snazzy cover – will I ever make it back?

There have been times when I’ve wished I’d never hit publish on The Dr Pepper Prophecies.  It had been living quite happily on my computer for ten years.  After Wimbledon had never even made it out of the notebook (like TDPP, I wrote the first draft longhand).  Publishing is frightening and stressful and I’ve done an awful lot of work to get reviews and publicity.  So much for “passive income”.

Still, I soldier on.  I’ve even started on Book 3.  Got about 5,000 words so far.  First I have to finish it.  Then I can start on the next round of panic that everyone will hate it.

I don’t recommend this as a career choice.

One response to “On Letting Your Babies Go

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