The Problem with Book Babies, Part 1

This past week I heard an author refer to her books as her babies and it got me thinking.  For years I worked on my book baby; I brainstormed, did character sketches, daydreamed, built it up, put it on a pedestal, and made it a monster undertaking.

You’ve never heard of Magic & the Machine but it was meant to be my fantasy debut novel.  It has magic, mechs, a new fae-like race, romance, action, and adventure.  I originally began development of the project in high school and had no idea what I was doing.

I hyped the novel in my own mind so much that when I sat down to write it, I worried I wouldn’t do it justice.  So I didn’t write it, I kept daydreaming.  I had to get it right the first time, right?  I mean, the Greats knocked it out of the park their first try, right?  Uh, no.  I still had no idea what I was doing.

Finally, in 2007 I decided to buckle down and write it during NaNoWriMo.  After my first win the previous year, I thought I’d write this epic fantasy that would enthrall readers for generations.  What I ended up with was 50k words of crap.  Seriously, it’s crap.  But it was a learning experience.

I finally got over my hang up that it had to be perfect and I got my ideas on paper.  My book baby was no longer this idealized monster in my head, it was an imperfect rough draft on paper.  It’s something I can work with in the future, if I so chose.

My book baby was my biggest obstacle.  The dream was so big and so hyped in my mind that I balked at making it happen.  Holding a project, from writing a book to sewing a dress, so near and dear to your heart to the point you can’t even start is a problem.  You can’t finish if you can’t begin, it’s that simple.

Are you held hostage by the pursuit of perfection that you can’t even start your project baby?


Published by elleclouse

Woman, wife, mother, writer, knitter and sarcasm aficionado.

2 thoughts on “The Problem with Book Babies, Part 1

  1. Great article. I struggle with the desire for perfection all the time. The only things that help so far are deadlines and Wattpad (which I suppose is a kind of artificial recurring deadline).

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