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Maternity Leave and Manuscripts: Moms Become Authors

There’s nothing like a new baby to cause a shift in one’s priorities.  Moms who may have considered returning to work after the birth of a child often find themselves having second thoughts once that little bundle of joy has arrived. But because spending quality time with your child won’t pay the bills, more and more of us are figuring out ways to make money from home.

According to a report out of the U.K., many new moms are skipping the Tupperware parties and type-from-home gigs and aiming quite a bit higher.  Perhaps inspired by the astounding success of Harry Potter author JK  Rowling, these moms are trying their hand at penning a bestselling book.

Andrew Lownie, a literary agent in London, says he has seen a marked increase in the number of manuscripts submitted by new moms.  They may lack professional training or writing experience, but are inspired by their real-life experiences with love, marriage and parenting.

Of course, most of these manuscript submissions end up in the “slush pile” of rejects.  But every once in a while, someone manages to get published and find success as an author.  Cathy Glass is one such success story.  A foster parent, she wrote “Damaged,” a book about her experience caring for a disturbed and abused child.  It hit the best seller list in 2007 and she’s gone on to write six more books about her own life and family.

Glass’ story is inspiring, but rare.  As one literary agent points out, it takes a lot of focus and concentration to write a great book.  And as any new mom will tell you, that’s hard to come by when you’ve got child in the house.

Still, I think it is amazing that so many moms are putting pen to paper and actually completing books.  That’s an accomplishment in and of itself and, regardless of whether or not it ever gets published, something to be proud of.

Image: Markus Rödder/Flickr

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