If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to grow and deliver a baby, I have great news. You don’t even need a uterus! You just need to write a book of 100,000+ words and you can have an exact idea of what it’s like. Ok, that’s a bit of a hyperbole. I mean, let’s face it, squeezing a bus through a golf ball hole isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world. So how is writing a novel like birthing a baby? Sooo many similarities.
THE GROWING PROCESS
I read somewhere if a baby continued to grow into an adult at the same rapid rate as in the womb, the grown adult would be able to stand on the surface of Earth and touch the moon. Who knows if that’s a load of shiza, but it sounds about right–just ask any pregnant woman. The rate at which a writer expands their knowledge base and command of the craft during the creating process, particularly with the writer’s first novel, equates to a percentage of gargantuan proportions. By the time I finished MS #1, I didn’t just touch the moon, I juggled it on my knees.
MAKES YOU NAUSEOUS
When you realize HOW MUCH there is to learn about the craft, the publishing business, and your willy-nilly place among the multitude of writers and wanna-bes, it elicits recurring nausea the first trimester in the business. Kind of like the way morning sickness strikes when you roll from bed and are still forced to face the day, despite the magnitude of the new life before you.
KEEPS YOU FROM SLEEP
Waking in the middle of the night in search of the perfect pickle ice cream sandwich (or else you might D.I.E.) is a lot like inspiration kicking you in the cerebrum in the middle of the night. There’s NO REST until the itch is scratched, the new vital info is poured out of your head and onto a piece of paper.
EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER
“I can do this! There’s no way I can do this. Of course I can do this and I will! But I’ll be terrible. No I won’t. I’ll be amazing. Right?”
So much doubt when birthing a baby…or a novel. Some of it will be fabulous, some will be terrible. A wise old proverb said without the shit there’s no appreciation of the divine. So fasten your seatbelt, pedal to the metal, and try to enjoy the ride.
Exaustion tricks us into thinking we can’t make it. Push through to the end! The final result is worthwhile and you WILL survive. In the midst of all the body and soul-wrenching pain is a beautiful pulsing, lively body you have created, for better or worse. There’s just one more crucial point to remember–the birth is only the beginning!