I’ve never experienced childbirth, but I imagine the emotions aren’t too dissimilar from publishing a memoir. In fact, there is a pregnancy likeness to the entire book writing process. First, there’s the foreplay of constructing a story—using seductive prose and beguiling imagery to lure in potential readers. Then, the manuscript enters the body and magic takes hold.
I began writing The Accidental Virgin five and a half years ago, and for the past three years, my work has been living inside me. I became obsessed with growing a strong piece of writing, driving myself to delirium at times. Sentences would swirl in my mind throughout the day and plot lines often mingled with my dreams. Through several drafts and prudent nurturing, I unearthed personal truths buried deep within my psyche.
Once the manuscript was properly conceived, I hired an editor and she became my trusted partner. The book matured through edits and rewrites—some days I made milestone gains and some days I spent six hours tweaking a single paragraph. The labor I experienced was both righteous and painful, and when it was time to deliver my delicate creation to an interior designer, I had one of the most transcendent experiences of my life.
I connected with a designer in Spain and explained to her my vision of a classic, sweet, minimalist book cover. I described my story and told her the colors I was envisioning. Our connection proved kismet when she produced the prettiest cover upon which I had ever laid my eyes. She captured the essence of my memoir with beauty, charm and superb detail.
With my manuscript tucked inside its alluring new package, I found myself cloaked in energy and confidence. I received a final, thoughtful critique and underwent one more round of edits. I became a fierce mama bear, breathing new life into the most pivotal parts of my story. I emptied myself into the final draft, and at long last, I readied myself to share my baby with the world. In the end, clicking “publish” from my Amazon Bookshelf proved to be the most difficult part of the entire process. Now, I have my own little literary lineage.