Is Writing a Book Like Having a Baby? Six Differences and Similarities

Today is the release day for "In His Corner," published by Lyrical Press/Kensington Publishing.

Today is the release day for “In His Corner,” published by Lyrical Press/Kensington Publishing.

People say writing a book is like having a baby. Since I’ve done both, I can tell you that the analogy is only partly true. Yes, there are similarities, but also major differences.

Today is the release day for my debut romance book, In His Corner, published by Lyrical Press, an imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp. Later this year, my daughter will be leaving home for college. In light of these important milestones in my life, I’ve reflected on the two types of “motherhood” I’ve experienced.

Three Differences

No Timeline: Pregnancy lasts only nine months. I had hyperemesis when I was pregnant, which meant I suffered from severe nausea and vomiting for six of those nine months. I was comforted by the thought that I would feel healthy again after my baby was born.

There’s no such timeline with a book. You could spend years writing a manuscript and there’s no guarantee it would see the light of day. I’ve written four manuscripts in almost two decades before my fifth attempt, “In His Corner,” was accepted for publication.

No Choice: I write what I want to write—a novel or novella, historical or contemporary. Every little detail in my book was a choice I made. It’s not the same in my role as a parent. Of course, I chose to have a child, but that’s the extent of my choice. As a mother, I see my daughter as a gift—a lovely package of surprises. She is her own person.

No Release Date: “In His Corner” is available to readers beginning today. It’s out there now. There’s nothing more I can do except move on. I’ve already started writing a new romance, while my literary agent is shopping another manuscript of mine (not romance) to editors. My daughter, however, has no release date. Even after she leaves home in the fall, I will never “move on” from being her mother.

Three Similarities

A Mother’s Day gift from my daughter, Nina, when she was five.

A Mother’s Day gift from my daughter, Nina, when she was five.

Nurturing Process: Writing a book and raising a child both require a lot of nurturing. They are similar in the way they have caused me countless sleepless nights and emotional ups and downs. They require a heavy investment of time, effort, and commitment. The learning process for both never ends.

It Takes a Village: It takes a proverbial village to raise a child and to publish and market a book. My husband and I couldn’t have raised our daughter without the support of relatives, babysitters, friends, and teachers, and an entire school community. It’s similar with publishing a book. In addition to the moral support of friends and relatives, I owe the publication and marketing of my book to my editor, publisher, book designer, my publisher’s sales and marketing teams, and my blog tour organizers.

Incredible Reward: It is incredibly rewarding to be a mother and published author. When I look at my daughter, Nina, I feel the satisfaction of knowing her like nobody ever could. Our history together goes back to that first glimpse of my first sonogram, back when she was inside me. I know my book in a similar way—as something that grew inside me, word for word.

Being a mother— literally of a child and figuratively of a published book— is a privilege and a blessing. I’m forever grateful for it.

A Book is Born

In His Corner, published by Lyrical Press under my pen name, Vina Arno, is available at:

Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble

Kobo Books

Kensington Books

iTunes

Google

Enter a Rafflecopter Drawing

Giveaway for U.S. and Canada only, from April 14-28, 2015

One grand prize:

  • $50 Amazon gift card
  • Electronic copy of In His Corner
  • Siena keepsake box with the image of Siena, Italy, in honor of the book’s heroine, Siena Carr, who was named after the Italian city
  • Italian cookies and chocolates

Read this Forbes article about my journey to publication:

3 Career Reinvention Tips From A Reporter Turned Romance Writer

Read this RT Book Reviews article about the story behind In His Corner:

An Italian Inspiration: How an Ancient City Created a Modern Heroine

Leave a comment

2 Comments

  1. Congratulations on the release of your book! I’m so happy for you. I hope that pretty rainbow glass is filled with a tasty pinot grigio.
    I would add one other book/child difference. A book will bring in more revenue as its success grows… whereas a successful child (who excels at sports, plays an instrument, gets into college…) requires a steady outlay of those hard-gotten gains. Don’t get me wrong–it’s worth it, but there’s definitely an inverse relationship. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Thanks, Alleigh! Can you tell my daughter painted the glass? She was about nine years old then. You are so right about “revenues”!

    Reply

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