Friday, November 03, 2006

Out Of My Hands

by W.L. Elliott

There is something absolutely terrifying about submitting a manuscript. It's the most agonizing happiness known to any writer. I experienced it firsthand again today as I dropped the box containing my latest novel into the outgoing mail.

It's out of my hands now.

I think writing a book must be very similar to raising a child. You give birth to an idea when you put it down on paper, pouring everything you have into it with the hope that it will someday become something great. You nurse it through its sick days. You discipline its faults, though it really does hurt you more than it does the story. You spend sleepless nights with it, and share joyful moments when everything comes together right.

At first, you trust it only to friends, then as it comes to stand on its own, you send it out into the wide world to make its way. It might take a trial flight or two before your fledgling takes off, but with any luck, you think as you make sure that stamp is straight on the corner of the box, this will be the time it flies.

Hopefully, while its out there in the world, someone will fall in love with it and take it home to meet the parents. Eventually, there'll be grandchildren--lots and lots of little books just like the one you sent out into the world with all your hopes and prayers.

But for today, all I can do is sit on my own little branch of the tree, and hope that my creation finds its wings.

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