Monday, March 31, 2014

Prenatal Frustration?

Not having a baby, folks, but I am trying to birth a book. I know that writing can't (for mothers who don't write) compare to having a human baby, but... For people who write, the chore is very much like birthing something. The analogy might tick off some folks, but it works for me.

I am ready to be over and done with this current novel. When I said that to a friend of mine the other day, she made the comparison to her first pregnancy. I saw the truth in this, but couldn't resist pointing out that this is not my first baby book. I guess I was a little pissy when told her that because she had to add snarky by-the-way bit: "It doesn't get any easier with the second or third kid."

Damnit, she's right.

When I considered the analogous relationship between writing a book and having a baby, I had to go look of the stages of pregnancy. I've never been in that amazing situation, but I was stunned at how much it relates to what I go through as a writer. (And to paraphrase Ms. Angelou: A writer writes not because she is published, but because she has stories to tell. So there.)

Just a baby forms in stages, so does a book. Of course, the stages of a book are less straightforward. Because I am either insane or just a little bit twisted, I sometimes come up with characters before I have a plot. Still, I start with an idea about something.

Right now, my book is hanging somewhere in the land of the never-going-to-be-born. I swear I've been rewriting parts of the DNA for weeks and weeks. Meanwhile, whole sections of the story  has sprinted right into the embryonic stage. ~face palm~

There are days when I don't even want this baby anymore. Unlike mommy-mommies, I can put the project on hold for years. If I could stand it. But I can't stand it. Just like being pregnant, there's no going back. I can't even just destroy this book. It was a part of me from the moment I imagined it in my head. It's never going to not be, even though it may never be born.


This book didn't ask to be conceived, but the story is going to be there - in my head, in my consciousness - whether I write it or not. At this point, I can't even imagine not writing it to completion. Just like a mother anticipating the birth of her child, I already think about the little one. Will it live with purpose and bring  joy to others?


I ran all this past my friend (the mommy-mommy), she thought it was silly until I got to the part about just wanting to be done.

"A woman can only be pregnant for nine months," I whined. "This book has been in me for over a year." And that's when she made a confession both parents and writers can understand.

"Love making the little rugrats, but can't wait to get them out of you."


P.S.: Seriously, parents, I know that what you do is amazing and beautiful. My post is just a little piece of humor, and not meant to diminish your superhuman abilities to do the job you all do!