On Feeling Like I’m Pregnant, Even Though I’m Not

I’m restless these days. My book is out there, in the world, being handled and read and considered and judged. But the thing is that it’s not really out there. It won’t be on sale for close to six months. SIX MONTHS.

Hence, why I feel like I’m pregnant. In six months the book will really be here and my life will change forever, in ways that I can’t even imagine. But for now, I wait. And time drips by. It’s all strangely reminiscent of being pregnant. The anticipation, the impatience, the wondering.

There’s just not a lot to do right now. Just like how when you’re six months off from having a baby it’s still too early to go to childbirth classes or paint the nursery, it’s too early for me to do anything interesting regarding the book. If I were pregnant right now the only real thing there would be to do is make friends with other pregnant women.

And I guess that’s kind of what I’ve been doing. I’ve sent Rules to some of my favorite authors in the last month. So far, Darrin Strauss, Dani Shapiro, Dave Eggers and Nick Flynn have my book. And yesterday I emailed back and forth with Susan Orlean (SUSAN ORLEAN!!) who said she’d love to see it. Do you have any idea how thrilling that is for me? These are my absolute favorite writers. These are the people whose words have touched me a hundred times over, who have kept me up late at night, and inspired me to head back to my keyboard countless times. These are the writers who have made me grit my teeth and say, writing is worth it. And now they’re reading my book. Pretty unbelievable.

Another thing I’ve been doing is sprucing up my Amazon book page. I’ve got a few blurbs up, a description of the book, photo and links to my blog and Twitter. I also might be slightly obsessed with watching the sales ranking number, even though the book isn’t even on sale yet. Ridiculous, I know. But you wouldn’t believe how much it changes by hundreds of thousands when just one book is pre-ordered. (I know because I tried it once, but shhh, don’t tell anyone.)

I got a blurb this week from the lovely writer Aidan Donnelly Rowley, who graciously agreed to read my book. I’ve been reading her blog for quite a while, and loved her first novel that debuted last year, Life After Yes. I wanted to send her my book because I know that she understands a lot of the themes of my story — parent loss, big cities, motherhood — and she came back with this to say. I’m so honored.

“The Rules of Inheritance is a graceful and gritty, and ultimately quite uplifting, exploration of grief. Smith writes gorgeously about the existential tug between life and death, hope and fear, honesty and escape that defined more than a decade of her young life. At once profoundly personal and exquisitely universal, this story will touch all of us, not just those of us who have faced similar losses.

So yeah, that’s about it over here. Feeling pregnant. Feeling antsy. Trying to distract myself with massive amounts of writing on the next book. How are you?




  • Emma
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    I’m good Claire; I’m just currently looking forward to the coming weekend and having no timetables like work start times etc! I am still here too reading your blog and it’s all back in LA again – but so much has changed (for me that is! I know all about your changes lol) since I first started reading your blog way back years ago! I cannot wait to order your book to!

  • Evelyn
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    That’s awesome of Susan Orlean. Love her! Can’t wait to read your book!

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