Any parent can tell you, the first day of Kindergarten is a tough day. Not so much for the children. They look forward to a day with friends, sporting that new backpack, ready to learn. It’s the parents who are fighting to hold back their tears.
Such is true for book parents, too. A zillion questions hit us book parents on that first day we send our baby out into the world. Is it ready? Did I prepare it well enough? Will it fit in and yet stand out as the special, wonderful creation I feel it is?
Once your book baby is out there, you can’t take it back. So, before you do, consider a few things first:
1. Have you given your book baby the chance to socialize at a smaller scale by involving it in critique groups or partnerships?
2. Have you entered contests to see how your book baby’s development stacks up compared to others?
3. Do you have someone in your writing life who respects and loves you enough to tell you honestly but gently if you dress your book baby funny and it won’t easily fit in?
In the end, even with loads of preparation, accepting your book babies as the unique gifts they are can be the most important factor in keeping you strong. Inevitably, your book baby will stumble on the playground, will be rejected when trying to make a new friend and might end up the last pick for the big game. But, it is all part of growing up. Just remember, you’ll be okay. And so will they. And you are not alone. All of us parents know exactly how you feel.
We’re scared of book kidnappers, too. We worry about grades and graduation and future heartbreaks right along with you. And we, too, feel the hope and pride of reaching the milestone in one piece (or two).
And we’ll all be here for you with a Kleenex or a high-five as you raise your babies into the productive, smart and successful writing career they were born to become.