Being a Writer Is No Different From Being Eternally Pregnant

For some strange, elusive reason, the day after your wedding, the world wants to know if you plan to have kids, know if you are pregnant, and if you are, how far along you are, when the due date is and, above all, whether you’ll be having a boy or a girl. God forbid the baby decides to take her or his sweet time and linger a bit longer in that deliciously warm womb, delay facing the world with all of its joys and hazards, which, as far as I’m concerned, is a very smart choice. What’s the hurry? This train runs on a one way track, after all. Once out, you are out and here to stay–hopefully for some time–no matter how desperately you long to crawl back into that blessed, cocoon of safety.

By some miraculous umbilical connection, the reason of which, once again, eludes me, the instant you introduce yourself as a writer, you awaken the same curiosity. The world wants to know whether you’ve published a book, who your publisher is, if you have started your next book, what the subject matter is, when will you finish the book, when will it hit the book stores, Kindle, iPad, other e forms, is your publisher sending you on a book tour, is your book tour going well, have you started your next novel … on and on until …. Well, you get my point! No wonder a book is often compared to a baby. Who, by the way, happens to hold a one way ticket too and once let loose into the universe, is nakedly exposed and vulnerable like a baby. At which stage, no recourse is left to an author, but to pray hard and long.

May our books please the almighty reviewer. May our books multiply like pomegranate seeds, millions displayed face out on bookstore front shelves, and grace bookstore windows. May our books be snatched away from booksellers as they continue to eternally sing their praises. May the shelf-life of our books be a tad longer than a carton of milk, may they be translated into every known language in the universe, become international best sellers, enjoy long lives, and never ever face the out-of-print curse. And let us all say, Amen!

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