A book begins with an idea. It can come from many places. From a passing thought, a desire to tell a story, a wish to praise the wild, an idea, a picture, a question. Then finding a publisher, that’s the next thing, sometimes. For me, I usually have a text that I take to the publisher, although sometimes it begins with just the idea, and questions. Then there is the hard work of finding words and images and sitting them together. The work is edited as it develops. Half way through you wonder how you can ever have thought that this was an idea that had wings, that it was an idea that filled you with a hungry passion. Then almost at the end the doubt monster climbs in again.
And then it’s done.
Finished. But just before the end another idea came in nibbling at the imagination.
So, this is one end. I have done what I can and now I hand over to the editor and designer and wait to hear. But there are words to rewrite and another page of words that need to be gathered and that will be a real end. And then it is designed and printed and shipped back to the UK where it lands in the warehouse and that is another beginning, because then it is time to make it as visible as it can be so that people who might want it can find it and buy it. And that is a new beginning, because once it gets in to the hands of readers, that is when it becomes truly alive.