This blog is to share a birthing experience I recently encountered. No, not your typical, nine-month til date of delivery, it's a girl, it's a boy, it's twins type of pregnancy. This birthing experience, although as grueling as any woman's most difficult labor, was the coming-to-full term launch of my first book as a published author. Yoohoo! I almost teared up, and beamed with great joy when I received the congratulatory kudos from Kindle that "Letters to My Daughters" was ready for sale in the bookstore. I had fulfilled my goal of becoming a published author, a daring attempt to share a God-talent with underlying hopes of making the world a teeny-bit better place. However I came to the realization that all authors no matter how humbly they claim to write for no other sake than writing, have a desire to be encouraged by his or her readers, both verbally and financially.
Let me be among the many writers in the virtual world to say that writing is hard work. No, let me expound a bit further. Writing is very, very, very, hard work; especially when you edit, format, and design your own cover, having never had the experience beforehand. In so many ways, this experience as a self-publisher was congruous to the actual pregnancies I experienced in my twenties. There was the exhilaration when I realized that the Holy-Ghost had planted a seed in my spirit, that actually began to grow from the first line, to months and months later, thousands of words coming together to form sentences, paragraphs, pages, chapters, with a beginning, middle, and an end.
There were days when the book slept in my 'womb'; although, I knew it was still growing, as I jotted notes on my portable device to add when I nestled up to my PC. There were days when I bore the grave concerns associated with almost losing this creative endeavor when months into the 'pregnancy' my system was hacked, almost causing me to lose something, clearly, I had begun to love. After a successful System Restore I was able to retrieve the document and learned how precious a flash drive is to an author. I began to see it as an ultrasound scanner that provides proof of the health and sex of a child. If I wrote, or edited even one single line, I felt the need to flash the change; because the book's consistent growing seemed so much like the embryos that had graced my womb decades ago. I believed that the continuous nurturing with love would result in a full-term delivery by the grace of God.
And graced me He did. A couple of weeks before her delivery, I began to have those nagging pangs that come near the end of a pregnancy, as a hint that the birthing process was near. I went to sleep thinking about the loose ends I needed to tie up before the arrival. I woke up with a strong yen to read and research the best ways to bring her forth into the universe via formatting with the least amount of pain, suffering and drama. I drew strength from my real-life pregnancies and knew that this work God had started in my spirit was going to be birthed to completion.
About three days after the final edit, I began experiencing the proverbial labor pains. I knew that the time was drawing near to bring forth this creative work into the universe. I was both excited and anxious at knowing I was so close to giving birth. Finally, the time arrived. In my mind, the calling up of the Kindle Publishing site was like the water breaking, and the point-of-no-return beginning. Uploading my work to the site was like the first significant labor pang. I hit the publish button and received an "invalid formatting" message. AHHHHHH!!!!!! Ok, unlike a real pregnancy, I simply took a deep breath, and went to the Kindle Guide to see what it would take to correct it. But, indeed, after hours and hours of perseverance, and several attempts between the copy, and converting the cover from a pdf to a jpeg, I had that inevitable moment, as in a real-life pregnancy, to shake my head in angst, wanting to quit, never to go through this agony, ever, ever, again. But, this close to the finished line, and an awareness that this had to come out,
just like that, the Holy-Ghost angels encompassed me with the strength I needed to push one last time. And push I did. I uploaded the work successfully, and I am grateful to say that at 1:01 a.m. on September 9, 2013, little "Letters to My Daughters" breathed new life outside of the 'womb'. My elation was, dare I say, almost grander than the delivery of my precious children. Unlike, actual pregnancies when most new moms just want to rest or sleep from all the hard work associated with labor, I wanted to pop open a bottle of sparkling water, grill an Angus steak, celebrate, rejoice, dance, laugh, and ultimately Praise God for His Awesomeness! Being that it was early in the morning, and there was no one but me and the Triune God who had helped me through this long-term pregnancy and grueling labor, it seemed apropos that it would simply be me joying with the Holy-Ghost angels to celebrate this birth. Afterall, no one could genuinely appreciate what it took to get from start to finish. Any effort by another human being would seem trite.
Women boast that a man could never know the pain of giving birth. The birthing of "Letters to My Daughters" causes me to defer my opinion, in that any man, any person, who has ever authored and self-published a book has come exhaustively close to what is associated with a real-life pregnancy and birthing.
The next day, I woke up with a broad smile knowing that God was faithful to bring to completion the work He had birthed in my spirit. I had a good day, and knew that I had done something I had never done before. I was officially a published author of a Spirit-filled book; a dream accomplished, fulfilled.
So, there you have it. I'm feeling like a new mommy, years beyond my ability to give birth, joyful that it doesn't come with lost sleep, diapers, and bottles. And, ughm, oh yes, as many women in the heat of labor's most sharpest pangs, and unsuccessful pushes, raging to never, ever, go through this again; within hours of her delivery, I felt the stirring to give birth to the next seed planted in my spirit.
I apologize that after careful research, I am not doing the Kindle Select at this time since it got mixed reviews, and I want to try my hand in different venues, namely Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. I priced it at a cool $9.99, calculated at 10-cents a page for writing (85 pages), and a modest $1.49 for formatting and editing. I believe we put our money on what we value. One can easily spend $10. at the fast-food drive-through which debatably sub-nourishes the body for a few hours; or be better served spending this same amount on something that gives replenishing nourishment to the mind, body and spirit.
This book is designed for single women of all ages; but primarily women ages 18-35. It is a memoir of my life and the hard-knock things I learned along the way. In the coming days I will discuss the book in more detail, but this writing was foremost to share a brief part of the experience with you.
In closing, I would like to acknowledge that there are some special angels out there in the internet world who take the time to share their knowledge and expertise with the rest of us indies. One that stands out and really blessed me to regain my focus when I was in one of those never-again moments of tiresome and wearying labor can be found at: http://selfpubauthors.com/2012/06/15/formatting-your-ebook-for-kindle-barnes-and-noble-or-epub-and-smashwords/. I hope to post a special thank-you on her site in a few days.
Well, that's it for now. If you have a few minutes please check out my new delivery at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=letters+to+my+daughters+mytu+sense. Unlike a newborn, where you get what you get, no sending it back for reshaping this and reshaping that, I have found myself resending the upload for retweaking. The first chapter reminds me of a new pregnancy, still getting my bearings for the long months ahead. I hope you will give this book a try. If it's not your cup of tea, refunds are available; but, I think for the most part it's worth the read. Be blessed.
Praises to God. I am a published author. Amen.