Since my book and my first child were separated by little more than one month, I believe I have a unique perspective on this and I’m prepared to make the definitive statement on the matter:
Releasing a book is nothing like having your first child. I suspect, if I would have been the one doing the pushing, sweating, and contracting for 23 hours, I would be even more adamant about this, if not offended by the comparison.
Sure, I’m concerned about how my book is perceived by the world-at-large, but what little (I’m lucky) criticism the book has received has only made my skin thicker. My book doesn’t care whether it’s loved or not, it won’t get sick, it doesn’t need its diaper changed, it won’t poop on me, I don’t have to hold its hand while it gets shots, and then feel my heart ache as it cries. My book can take whatever life throws at it because I can take it.
Books don’t feel or love, authors do.
As an author you are putting yourself out there. You dedicate years of work into producing your book. If you didn’t temper your expectations, you might have put all your hopes in dreams into your book. Then you might find yourself foolishly saying, “Releasing a book to the world is like becoming a father/mother.” If so, first, get a life, and then get some perspective.
Our little baby Harper has laid my heart wide open. I’ve never felt more vulnerable, content, lucky, emotional, worried, and happy than I do now that she’s here. I guarantee you that Mark Twain who had four children and Charles Dickens who had ten, loved their kids more than any of their masterworks. I recently read Twain’s biography. He lost three children and I know he would have traded “Huckleberry Finn” or “Tom Sawyer” for just one more day with any of them.
Babies are easier to make than books, but once they arrive they demand much more attention and offer way more reward.
I’m proud of Where Am I Wearing? and I’m excited that quite a few teachers and professors will be introducing the book in their classes this Fall. I hope it will change some folk’s view of the world, but I’m realistic about what it can accomplish.
I’m saving all of my unrealistic expectations for Harper.
With talent like you’ll see in this video, how could a father not have great expectations?
Related: Read Adventure Dad on WorldHum