Talk to any author for more than ten minutes (and if you ask them about their work, you'll be there for at least that long) and you can be pretty sure that at some point they'll unintentionally use language that compares writing to giving birth. No massive insight there, the creative process and all that. Someone once said that giving birth to a child is like shitting a bowling ball. Obviously writing is not as physically arduous as that, but the mental equivalent to shitting a bowling ball sounds about right. And while writing is not as painful as childbirth, do bear in mind that the labour usually lasts for around two years.
But there are of course some wonderful aspects to both. You know when the expectant couple get their first little scan of the foetus and bring it home to show everyone? The equivalent for me is when I see the first cover design. It's the point at which the book stops being something that exists only in my head and on my laptop and starts to take on an independent life of its own. So here it is!
Another thrill is when it gets listed on Amazon for the first time, and that just happened too. I was very touched to see that someone has already pre-ordered it, and that's not me or my wife.
This book has ruled my life for two years - I was heavily into it by the time I first started blogging. I can't wait to get the bastard finished and unleashed on the world. I've finished the first draft and it's now with my editor, but it's far too long and we're going to have to cut about a third of it out - expect lots of IPA-themed blog entries to appear on here as they're slashed from the book (a process Steven King refers to as 'killing your babies').
The book comes out on June 5th 2009.