Does anyone have a cure for that feeling of panic when your manuscript is released into the world as a book? The moment when it no longer belongs to you but is presented for scrutiny to all who make the decision to read it.
I feel like a mother who has just sent her child off to school for the first time. I stand at the school gates watching as the child disappears from view and I want to run after it, to draw it close to me again, to be there when it’s teased by the older kids, to help when it struggles with its work, when it falls in the playground and scrapes its knee.
But I can’t. It’s time to let go. It’s on its own now.
This is my fourth release. You would think I’d be used to this by now but this book is different. This one I did solo. It’s a book that’s close to my heart. I’ve spent a lot of time on it and had it assessed and professionally copy edited. I paid for the cover design. I did all the right things but is it enough – could I have done more? Should I snatch it back – I’m not ready for this! Let me take it back and work on it some more…I’m sure there’s something I can find to do.
Part of me knows that it’s time to let it stand on its own two feet; time to turn my attention to the other children who demand that I spend some time with them. But still I linger at the school gates, longing after the child that’s gone. It’s time to move on.
You can be sure I’ll be watching its progress with interest, cheering at its achievements and supportive when its results are disappointing. No matter how well, or badly, it does out there in the big wide world, it will always be my child.
(Thanks to Melinda Szymanik for the inspiration for the opening line.)