Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

My Book November 20, 2010

This week I received the final cover design for my upcoming book, and next week the e-reader version of the book will be released.

It’s hard to describe all the emotions I’m riding through right now – excitement, pride, anxiety, second-guessing, and something else, some kind of melancholy.

I’m excited because this project has been a long time in the works. I’ve written it, added to it, edited it, and then last year I scrapped the entire manuscript (I mean every word of it) and started again with a blank page. (I’m getting a stomach ache just thinking about that!)  It had to be done and I’m glad I did it, but it was hard.

I’m proud because I stuck to it, I finished it, I didn’t let it collect dust in the bottom drawer of my desk, and I have fought to get it published and out into the world.

Which is where the anxiety comes in.

I’m anxious about putting such a personal story out there for everyone to see. Not so much the people who will hopefully benefit from reading it, but the lookie-loos, people who know me, or my husband, and want to get the gossip. I’m also anxious about the people in the book – my family and friends, my husband’s family – people who said or did the wrong thing without ever knowing it, and unwittingly gave me material. But everything in the story happened, and (as my friend Jeff says) it’s not mean if it’s true. But I still worry about what they’ll think.

I can’t quite figure out the melancholy. Maybe it comes from the feeling of something coming to an end (even though I know that many new things are just beginning), I’m not sure. An acquaintance asked me how I came to choose the topic and I explained that this is my story and that the topic chose me. And maybe that’s where the melancholy comes from. I’m very glad I wrote this book, but there’s still a part of me that wishes the topic had chosen someone else instead.


13 Responses to “My Book”

  1. Kathryn Says:

    I think i understand. My blog is “semi-private” meaning that i don’t invite family there (figuring they will never find it on their own, & i certainly do not link back to it from FB or picsaweb). I want to be able to say what i will.

    I have several manuscripts, or partially completed manuscripts that are, to some extent, “my children.” I think being creative in a number of ways can give the feeling that we have given birth to something unique. Not the same as children, doesn’t take their place, but something unique that would not be there had we not done the work. (Are you having “postpartum depression”? LOL)

    I’m sorry that this particular story chose you, as i’m sorry/sad for each of us who have this. But congrats on the book! You stuck with it, you carried it out, it is YOURS! And that is something to celebrate.

    • lmanterfield Says:

      Yeah, I’ve been fighting that analogy, but it kind of is like that and at some point you have to let them out into the world and just hope you did a good job of raising them and never see their photo on the flyers in the Post Office window!

  2. I am so proud of you!! It IS scary putting yourself out there, and telling this story. It is also kind of sad to see this stage come to an end…it has been a MASSIVE part of your life writing the book and it is understandable to have mixed emotions now that you see it before you.
    I am so excited to read it and see what comes next.
    It is going to be good, family loves you and they will grow from this too!
    You wrote a book and now we are going to read it!
    hugs to you and a pat on the back

  3. Elena Says:

    I just love the title and the cover picture is hilarious!
    Congratulations!! Be proud of yourself!

  4. Mali Says:

    I love love love the title.

    I’m so excited for you. I wrote a book for NaNoWriMo about my story a few years ago. It started as fiction, but very quickly turned into my story. Whilst the words came easily, I felt very sad reliving it, as you say, that the story chose me. I wrote it at a time when I was much less open about my story, and was so paranoid that someone would read it that I gave the document a password. You guessed it. I cannot for the life of me remember that password. So I guess I might have to start again from scratch. Blogging it at my new blog might help. But you’re inspiring me.

    • lmanterfield Says:

      Mali, I’d cry for you, but I know it’s not going to bring your password back. I guess consider this a rewrite. You’d probably have done it anyway. You know how that first draft can be.

  5. Rachel Says:

    I love the cover! It is adorable!

  6. Jackie Says:

    WOW! Brilliant topic and an appropriate, funny title. Congratulations on becoming a published author! I can understand your anxiety, and, like Kathryn, I have my blog and restrict my child-free rantings to that! (Although I do post a link on my facebook to it).
    Will this be published in the UK? I would love to read it.
    I wish you every success!

  7. Julie Says:

    I can’t wait to read it! When does the book-book come out? [I’m not much of an e-reader; I still love REAL books 😉 ]

  8. loribeth Says:

    I second Elena’s post. LOVE the title!! I’ll be looking for it! Congratulations!

  9. lmanterfield Says:

    Ladies, as always, thank you for your beautiful, supportive words. I feel so honored to have this community to share the ups and the downs with. Whether I post a day-from-hell story or good news, you are always there behind me. Thank you for that.

    So, the official announcement will be coming very soon (like hopefully tomorrow, technology permitting) that the e-book will be available this week and the good old-fashinoned, hold it in your hands, “look what I did, Mum!” version will be out next month. And yes, technology or carrier pigeon permitting it will be available in the UK! 😀 xx

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