A colleague at work asked about my baby the other day. Without missing a beat I asked: You mean my manuscript?
It turned out he had me mixed up with another colleague (I’m clearly SUPER memorable). BUT there was an awkward moment — or two or three — when he realised I was NOT joking about my manuscript.
Here are the top 10 reasons why I think a manuscript is like a baby:
- It spends nine months—often longer—in gestation.
- It keeps you awake at night.
- You want to punch people who criticise it, but then spend weeks worrying that its nose really IS too big.
- You buy books and trawl the web seeking advice on how to look after it, but in the end it comes down to instinct.
- You celebrate finishing the first chapter like a parent celebrates a first step.
- You can’t wait to put it to bed, but when you do you just want to pick it up again.
- You’re riddled with guilt when you spend time away from it.
- If it gets sick, you forget to eat, shower or answer the phone until you’ve given it a full medical.
- You talk to it and it often talks back—although more often than not, you don’t understand a word it’s saying.
- You know that one day you’ll have to cut the apron strings and let it go out into the wide world.