I’m a giant pregnant lady right now. The bellysaurus has taken over. I can’t get comfortable and I’m unable to tell the difference between Braxton Hicks and real contractions anymore.
My writer’s brain is afire with all sorts of craziness. I want to finish every story, edit every project, and see all of my works published RIGHT NOW!
The correlation is uncanny.
Throughout the past few years I’ve compared writing to running a marathon, being in an abusive relationship, slipping into insanity, rescuing yourself from your past, and a lot of other ridiculousness, but mainly giving birth. Having children. Raising children.
This has never been more apparent to me than it is today.
With both writing and birthing and/or raising children PATIENCE is a must. Writers who rush through drafts, editing, and just publish as fast as possible receive little long term rewards.
It is uncomfortable. My body is stretched and itchy as the corners of my mind. Writers stretch their sympathies, their perspective, and mainly their sense-of-self. It is often frustrating but can offer rewards along the way.
It is draining. Some days I have to force myself out of bed and get my body moving through sore muscles that have had enough of the excess weight. We can joke about writer’s block and waiting for inspiration, but writers (good/successful writers) must often force themselves to work through self-doubt, illness, family issues, mental problems, and more. People who put off their art fall farther away from it, just as I feel much better after walking for a few miles no matter how painful that walk is with a baby sitting on top of my bladder and squishing my organs.
It is scary. I choose the more difficult route all too often. I’m a born naturalist, and though it is not for everyone, I don’t often consult doctors. I employ a midwife for all my pregnancy and birthing needs. There is nothing like laying in your own bed with your baby right after working so hard to bring it into the world. Even hospital births are scary at times; there are always risks and worries. Loving a story is very much the same. I always wish for it to come out perfect and ready to be read. Going through and cultivating a tale, really growing it into something is terrifying at times.
Writing the story is a writer’s pregnancy. Editing is labor. Publishing is sharing your creation with the world.
Not every story is received well, just as some children struggle through this world. It often takes a lot of work to get your story seen and heard, just as children must learn to find their voices and become their own people.
As frustrating as it all is, there is not a damn thing I would change about being a mother or an author. The rewards outweigh all the pain.
Nothing is perfect. But the love you share with your child and those who grow to love your child is akin to the bond that forms when you find readers who praise your work and discuss it with glee.
The accomplishment lasts. It doesn’t matter if something goes wrong, or your child has a serious illness, how you choose to spend your time with your kid(s) matters. Writing is no different. I’ve had my own flops. Not every story is going to do well, but it is still a part of you, a part that no one can ever take away.
You find a sense of purpose. I strive to lead by example. I want my children to be happy, healthy, caring individuals so I know that I must display that in myself. They help me to be a better person. My stories often magnify my strengths and weaknesses and help me to face them head-on. By honing my craft I find a deeper meaning in everything. Both allow me to contribute more.
Whether you are a parent, a writer, or both, you have more to give. Some days it’s rough, and others, life is a gift. Nothing ever stays the same; kids grow up, writing styles change, but that is part of the adventure. Live it with vigor.