More than eleven years ago I found out I was going to have my first baby. It was the most incredible news ever; a surprise only in that we had wanted this for so long, and nearly given up that it could happen.
For eight months I prepared in the way nearly every new expectant first-time mom prepares. I bought the books. I went to classes. I learned to breathe the right way and visualize through the pain. I read the book cover to cover and subscribed to magazines. I set up a birth plan.
In short, I was well-informed.
And then, 28 hours after heavy labor started, my doctor informed me plan A was not working.
"There is a baby inside me. I want to get it out. This is plan A. What the heck is plan B???"
In a matter of minutes I was surrounded by doctors, nurses, interns, machines and drugs and wheeled into the operating room where plan B was enacted. A c-section in which they cut that baby out.
The end result: pretty much the same as plan A.
The point is? I had in my head the way the birth of my child should be. There was a plan: the traditional, time-honored way of having a baby. A very specific journey to take to get that beautiful baby boy. But in the end, just because I took a different path didn't mean I had anything less than that perfect beautiful boy.
And frankly, when it came to the second and third children, I chose plan B: the more direct, less painful, faster way to the end result. Hey, I'm no martyr. I was given the option and I grabbed it!
I've been thinking about this a lot in regards to publishing. In short, I want to be published. I want to see my manuscript, my baby, on a bookshelf. I want to see it in someone else's hands in something more than just a ream of loose leaf pages hot from my own personal printer. I want to have a real book.
And in all the planning, I've only been looking at plan A. Write the book. Query the book. Get an agent. Submit to editors. Find a publisher. Get printed.
But the truth of the matter is that this is only one of many options.
On the Writers of 4 Corners blog, I outlined the main options in a new post. Not that I'm ready to head down another path at the moment, but you never know. Things are changing so fast in this industry. At some point, we all may have to adapt and switch gears.
It's never bad to know what plan B is. You know. Just in case.