Friday, 11 April 2014

The Birthing Process

Wow, time flies!  Let's see if I can fill you in on what's been happening since I was last here. Well, a lot, to be honest. Most notably, I have been writing/revising/editing (those lines always seem to blur for me) a hell of a lot over the past month. So much so, that I'm nearly at the end of my first major revision/edit of "Between Before and After". Woot! I have about 10,000 words to write, then I'm ready to go back to the beginning and tighten it up, getting it ready for it's visit to my editor in early May.

That means I've been pulling some long hours again. Last night, I got to bed around 1am and I just could NOT sleep. My brain was wide awake, even though my body was exhausted. I am *this* close to finishing this part of the process, and it's exhilarating! As I lay there, counting sheep, I mulled over this journey.

It's very like birthing a baby, this writing business. You can feel this baby/book inside of you and you develop a bond with it, nurture it, love it. You imagine a world where this baby/book is out there, making it's way. You hope it's way will be an easy one, but deep down you suspect it might not be. It doesn't matter. You don't love it any less. If anything, you love it more.

I vividly remember thinking, when I was about six months pregnant with both my kids, that I would miss them when they were born. I would miss that bond, the thing that only the baby and I shared. We had been through so much together (neither pregnancy was easy) and I'd come to rely on feeling it kicking inside me. It let me know that it was hanging in there with me. That it would all be worth it in the end. That I wasn't alone. With my first pregnancy, I expected to feel a sense of loss when the baby came - an emptiness. By the time my second baby came along, I knew better.

There was no hole inside of me. I was so busy getting to know this little person for real, I had no thoughts of loss or emptiness. I just had a bundle of baby goodness in my arms, and a life that was about to get a whole hell of a lot busier and fuller than I could ever have imagined.

Writing a book has many similarities. I got that initial glow, followed by the sickness and sinking feeling (am I ever going to be able to do this story justice?). I also got three quarters of the way through the first edit and realised that I was going to miss these characters when I was done. I began holding on to them tighter, getting less frequent with the teaser excerpts I was sharing, for fear of giving anything away. Now that the release date is so close, I'm reluctant to part with it. I'm not sure I'm ready. I need more time. It's only perfect in my head if I'm the only one who sees it. Once it's out there, in the world, people will be free to rip it apart and I'm not sure I can handle that just yet.

I know I'll get braver. I know, because I've done it once before. I can do this again.

Sometimes, I even look forward to it.


  1. I love your analogy of childbirth and writing. I totally understand that impending feeling of emptiness when a baby is born - it has been a part of you for 9 months and suddenly its no longer a part of you, but a part of the world. I guess writing must be similar because to write a good storyline, you have to become personal and intimate with the characters you create. They have to become part of you before you can release them to their world. I loved Absolution and look forward to reading your next baby :)

    1. Thanks Bobbie - so glad you enjoyed Absolution! And thanks for making me feel like I'm not talking to myself over here :)

  2. Second attempt to write a reply here. You've got it in one. Until our babies come into the world we can keep them to ourselves and then after childbirth we have to share them even if we may not be ready. Which can be a daunting but exhilarating experience at the same time. Likened very much to sharing your writing which is personal to you and that fear of what happens when the whole world gets to see it. You did yourself proud with Absolution and I've no doubts that Between before and after will be anything but an excellent story. Can't wait. You're not talking to yourself honestly xx

    1. Thanks Tracy :) Really appreciate the support xx