In May I shared with you that I had a book idea, and I sought your input. And then in June, I parsed that input and presented it to you. The basic summary is that while you were all super-awesome survey takers, and highly supportive, my personal book idea came in 3rd out of the 4 ideas I presented.
So what is my book idea? I want to collect stories from parents across Canada surrounding pregnancy, birth and the first 6-12 weeks of their new baby’s life. It is basically a cross-section of personal experiences as people undergo the transition of new parenthood. The book would highlight the issues that parents faced, how they coped, and how they feel about their experience. It would not be a how-to book, or an academic book. It would be more like a kitchen table chat with a lot of parents, sharing their own thoughts.
I love this book idea because I think that stories are important. I also think that it is hard to find Canadian stories. As much as I love films like The Business of Being Born and books like The Breastfeeding Cafe, they don’t particularly relate to my own experience. The Canadian and US health care systems are very different. Our support systems, including maternity and parental leave, are very different. As a Canadian I would like to explore those differences.
I also love this book idea because I think that we often leave lay people out of the conversation when we’re discussing issues like epidural use and how to increase breastfeeding rates. We start talking about statistics and socioeconomic groups and so on. These conversations are useful. But it is just as useful to explore the much more personal and nuanced world of individual stories. And it tells you a lot more about what it’s like to live through the experience than a statistic ever could.
I persist in loving my book idea. It’s been over two months since it flickered across my consciousness, and I can’t stop thinking that it would be awesome. And so at this point I’ve decided that in spite of my survey results, I’m going to pursue it. Or at least pursue further investigation. I’m doing search engine analysis to track interest and I’ve set up Google Alerts with key words and I’m finding out what other books are similar and considering my audience. I’m reading all that I can find about how to get published and I’m picking the brains of all the published authors I know.
I’m not sure if my book idea will turn into anything or not. But I know that I want to pursue this, and that I’m OK with whatever the outcome may be. I think that writing a book that I feel passionately about, and that I would personally want to read, is a better bet than throwing up my hands in defeat. Or trying to write a book that I really am not that interested in. I want to live with passion, and that means that I have to at least try, and I have to be true to my own personal vision.
I am not going to ask you what you think of my book idea. But I would love to hear from you if you have any tips on Canadian publishing. And I would also love to hear words of encouragement in general. Because, honestly, I have no worldly idea what I’m doing. But I also think that maybe no one really knows what they’re doing, so I’m not going to let that stop me. At least not yet.