Writing Is NOT Like Sex, but…
Anyone who’s attempted to write a book can attest that the process feels entirely different from making a baby. You do get moments of bliss when the words conjoin in perfect harmony, but ninety-nine percent of the time you’re just in labor.
It’s what I fondly refer to as “butt-in-the-chair time”–required by many jobs, granted, but especially grueling when you face a blank screen challenging you to compose anything at all that might be worth sharing.
The Process Feels Like Gestation
MY JOB Gen Z will be my fourth published book. (We don’t count the two novels rotting away in unseen cardboard boxes and unopened electronic files.) And I, along with any other author reading alongside me here, can attest that producing a book feels like giving birth.
First, you undergo a long period of germination, during which the idea emerges from your unconscious. You consider it, caress it, come to know it. Then you hold onto it for months–or in my case, years–nurturing it as it grows into its own essence, takes shape into paragraphs and pages and chapters; and even then, you’ve only just begun.
Next you must chisel it with editing (my nonfiction books have endured up to seventeen rounds each), inspect it with fact-checking and proofreading (my book-editing background taught me that you need at least six eyeballs in three rounds), and coax it into life with rewriting, design and formatting, rechecking, hyperlinking and footnoting, and rechecking a few more times.
And We’re Overdue!
My young coauthor Sanam Yusuf and I have worked for two years on MY JOB Gen Z; but she’s long-since skipped off back to college and freedom, while I lug this unborn book around like an African elephant mama (645 days’ gestation; that’s almost two years).
The book, originally due on New Year’s Day 2021, experienced a setback when I began to design the interior pages; because, how do you design a book for an audience that doesn’t read books? Every Gen Zer that I know, including my smart, ultra-literate coauthor, does not read traditional books. We wanted, instead, a book that looks and reads like a series of Instagram posts: pictorial, pithy, powerful.
Now, it’s just production delays. Self-publishing is not for sissies!
However, this baby IS coming, soon: in about one month. We’ll celebrate together then–me with my paunchy belly and you holding our little bundle of book.
Cover image used with permission from and gratitude for arteida-mjeshtri-3SDP4zc_z9w-unsplash of Unsplash.