Many people say that writing a book is like having a child. You give birth to it, nurture it, and nurse it when it’s sick. You pour yourself into it without robbing it of its individuality. You let it delight you. You let it break your heart. You give it every single thing you have, and then you go find something more to give it. Then comes the hard part. You have to release it, let it go wander the world among strangers. Strangers who might not understand it. Who might not like it. Who might even think it’s ugly.
There it is—your book. A nice, thick stack of pages, filled with the creations of your imagination. A whole world brought out of nothing and made real in the form of a ten-mile sentence. You should be genuinely, deeply, proud of yourself.
Excerpt from Timothy Hallinan on Finishing up your Novel.