Once the Baby Is Born

by Ruth Tenzer Feldman
Published on: March 31, 2012
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This is how I often envision my newly published book. What a sweetie! Family and friends, as well as assorted strangers, want to take a peek. They ooh and aah, and sometimes handle my creation less gently than I’d wish. They compare the wee babe to others they have seen. They ask me how I am doing. They have all sorts of suggestions about child rearing. They wonder if I plan to have another.

Yes, I am delighted to have Blue Thread out in the world. And, yes, I am delighted that other people notice! Still, this new baby stage is a mega-shift from the years of control I had over my story.

I am slowly assimilating the message that authors, like parents, have to learn to share and to let go. Readers, each with his or her unique mindset, complete a book. That’s what publication is all about. The public. Duh!

Viva Scriva, like any excellent critique group, has helped with the transition. The very act of my sharing chapter after chapter was the first step in wresting my manuscript from my iron grip of authorship. As readers, the Scrivas added their point of view and saw things in the manuscript that I couldn’t see or didn’t want to see. I can still hear Scriva Sabina saying, “In my version of your story….” As writers, the Scrivas offered “constructive criticism” in the very best sense of that phrase.

I know I’m stretching the baby analogy here, but it reminds me that “my baby” wasn’t ever all mine to begin with. The very spark of creativity was ignited with the help of someone else. Babies are not clones. You catch my drift. And on that delicious note, I shall finish this post and get back to my new work in progress.

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