Something about the changing of summer to fall causes me to reflect on the year and often my life as a whole. Maybe it’s the quiet of the house with the ankle biters at school, the temperature changes, or just a realization of time passing. But this is the season I find myself getting the most nostalgic. I get almost antsy for the next season and phase of my life.
For the past ten years or so, this time period usually reflects on what grade my kids are in and what developmental milestones they are making. Prior to that, my thoughts would have wandered back to my own time in school. I am one of those weird people who actually liked school, studying and reading; moving forward in some scholarly pursuit. I loved the fall because it meant school.
Since September creeped onto my calendar, I have been feeling restless, and more anxious than usual this time of year. After again looking at the calendar today, I realized it’s the doldrums I’m in right now: the in-between-ness of waiting. Waiting for the day my book finally comes out.
There is a lot the publisher and our community of writers has prepared me for in this writing journey, but I don’t recall much mention of this time. The pre-publication purgatory I am trapped in. I am not one to want to rush time; it already goes too fast and I am usually wishing to slow it down. However, November 10, 2015 seems like it is a century away.
Sure, I’m busy with everyday life, raising two kids, work, and of course all the final marketing details that go into publicizing a book. But waiting for the actual day when my story is available (for anyone interested to read) is about to drive me mad.
Maybe it’s the no longer writing it that’s making the waiting seem longer. When you spend years, many years, writing and editing your own words, it becomes like a child you have created. Just like the last weeks of pregnancy, I was delirious waiting to see my baby. Right now, my “baby” is sitting in a computer in a warehouse on east coast about to be printed and bound. It’s in its final gestation trimester, and it feels like I can see each second on the clock.
There is nothing more I’m allowed to add to the book, the publisher has given me my final proof—and it’s done. Yet I cant’ help feeling like there was more I could have written about my family’s journey with autism. Certainly there were more anecdotes to be told and more victories to share. But if I wanted my story published I had to stop writing and start…waiting.
Like I washed up on a deserted island, I feel I wasn’t properly prepared for this time. I knew how hard the writing and editing was. I lived it long enough that no explanation was necessary. I was slightly surprised in all the steps required to properly market a book, yet felt I had prepared accordingly (and still am walking that part of the journey). I won’t lie, the review process still proves to be shocking and humbling, but again, I felt I have skidded by with that one too. It’s this time. Now. Eight weeks, and six days. One thousand four hundred eighty eight hours left until 11/10/15.
My husband, Dan, and I did not found out the sex of either of our children. After the first child, I came up with three reasons why we didn’t find out: actually three jobs for the man during the pregnancy/birth.
1) Plant the seed (the most important job)
2) Announce the sex when the baby is finally born (a very exciting moment for my husband)
3) Cut the chord (that took some coercing, but he did it.)
The way I saw it, if you take one of those jobs you would eliminate 33.33% of their work. It was kind of my obligation to keep Dan properly employed in future ventures. And I also found out after baby #1, how the ‘not knowing’ kept me going in the long days of the last trimester. Not knowing just their sex, but what they would look like, or what they would be like. Actually that was the real torture.
If I could get through that waiting, especially on bed rest with Ryan, I can keep my chin up and get through this waiting. After all, I already know what my book/baby looks like and what it is like…
I think what I just realized writing this: is it’s time to make another baby, I mean book. Relax, Dan. I meant book.
Maybe the pre-pub waiting period won’t be as bad the second time around.