Birth of a Book

My writing coach, Kathie Giorgio, once told me that publishing a book is like giving birth. Each one is different – and special. I’m sure she’s right. But I’ve only got one childbirth to compare with one book, and I think perhaps the childbirth was easier.

The manuscript, Paddle for a Purpose, is finished now, resting between the covers of a three-ring binder on my shelf. I’m submitting it to small press publishers, hoping to find one who sees the same hope and promise that Gene and I have seen in this story since setting out on our kayak trip years ago. Already, the gestation period for this book-child has been five times as long as that of my son, Eric, whom I welcomed into my arms and into my life almost 27 years ago. I’m getting eager to hold the book in my hands, to run my fingers over the cover, and flip through the pages. Some of you have told me you are also anxious to see it – to read the story of God’s work in us during our months on the Mississippi.

So, what took so long? It’s just a book, right? The first year, I worked with a small group of colleagues in a Write-a-Book Workshop. We read and critiqued each others’ work, meeting once a month to discuss our books in progress. I loved being immersed not only in writing our story, but stories in other genres, as well. After the first draft was finished, I worked by myself for a while, then weekly on another draft with a different group of colleagues. Descriptions became more vivid, sentences more succinct, and inner thought more apparent, as other writers asked questions and offered suggestions. Next came a Writers’ Retreat, where I solidified the all-important beginning of the story. Then, more drafts, reading through the manuscript with Gene, cutting out unnecessary sections, and adding authenticity to the dialogue. After a couple more independent readings, I worked through the manuscript again with the help of my writing coach. Each time, the story stayed the same, but the telling improved. After the last independent read-through, I finally reached the conclusion that the memoir was written the best way I knew how.

When I began to put our story on the page, I had no idea how much revision it would need or how much I would learn in the process. I’d like to thank Kathie Giorgio, and my AllWriters’ Workplace and Workshop colleagues, not only for their help with this book, but for encouraging and helping me grow as a writer. And of course, I need to thank my husband, Gene, for his patience, support and invaluable assistance, both during the trip and the writing process.

Categories: Uncategorized | 16 Comments

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16 thoughts on “Birth of a Book

  1. This is a birth that’s been in development your whole life! You couldn’t have written it 20 years ago or even 10. So excited for you!! What an awesome journey! CONGRATS! You’ve done it!!!

  2. Rose Martin

    I have friends who own Nico 11 Publishing and Design. W327S7572 Squire Ln, Mukwonago
    Please consider contacting them and let me know if you do and I’ll put in a good word for you. Good luck!
    Rose Martin

    • Thank you, Rose. I’ll check on that. I’ve submitted to six publishers so far, and have a bunch to go. They take a while to read the submissions, so I’m not letting myself get impatient. Just nervous with energy!

  3. Sharon Suleski

    amen to the completion of your book   what memories  now written down  to the people who love you sharon

  4. Theresa Geiger

    How exciting Barb, can’t wait to read it. Terry Geiger

  5. Suzanne Schiller-Ingram

    I am happy for you. Love to read it someday. Love Sue

  6. Kenneth Moore

    Looking forward to reading your book. I was so glad I could help in your portage from the Ohio river in Paducah to Ky lake. The real bonus was the meal and fellowship we had at our campsite on Blood River.

    • You were an enormous help. Kenneth, and we loved coming to visit you and your wife, too. We are so thankful to have met you, and plan to get down your way again after the book finds a publisher. God bless.

      • Kenneth Moore

        We look forward to your visit, hope you find a publisher soon.

  7. Rose Martin

    Let me know if you do contact them so our efforts are timely. Enjoy this part of the journey!

  8. janis leech

    You are a wonderful woman, friend and author. I so look forward to holding my book in my hands!

  9. Terry

    Just saw you on the morning blend. Great interview. So happy for you two. Terry Geiger

    • Thanks, Terry! It was fun to get to talk with Molly and Tiffany today. Everyone was so friendly; they put us at ease. Hope you are having a great summer! Barb

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