“Mothers are all slightly insane.” – J.D. Salinger
“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” – E. L. Doctorow
The first time I recall asking my mom how babies are made, she told me that when a man and a woman love each other they pray about it, then the mommy gets pregnant. All through kindergarten I feared that God might mistake any thought I had about babies for prayer and plop a fetus in my belly. (Agh!) If a stomach ache followed, I knew I was in trouble.
Thank goodness it’s not that easy. You know what else isn’t easy? Writing and publishing. Imagine if all we had to do was think about our stories and POOF—fertilized…
During my e-book launch in December, I asked you all to tell me how you felt writing was like or unlike pregnancy and parenting. Your answers kept me thoroughly entertained and have proven to me that while there are significant difference between the two, valid parallels exist. I’ve woven some of your answers into the following list.
20 Ways Writing is Like Parenthood
1. The initial seed (idea) feels miraculous.
2. Not every story idea turns out to be Mr./Mrs. Right. Spending too much time with the “wrong” ideas can keep us from birthing anything.
3. Sleep deprivation and stress can be mood killers, and make
love story-making feel more like work than play.
4. Once an idea’s born, all kinds of happy, feel-good chemicals release in our brains. Over time, we may have to work harder to keep the excitement going.
5. If getting the story out is delayed, we’re likely to feel huge, as though we’ll POP!
6. For some, the gestation period exceeds that of an elephant. For others, a randy rabbit! Gloria Richard Author
7. Even with painkillers, the birthing process can be excruciating. Should we wait it out while the ideal publishing deal or have a C-section pronto? In either case, once it’s out, our lives will never be the same.
8. Pregnant women tend to focus a disproportionate amount of time and energy worrying about the process of giving birth. They forget that the really hard work begins after the baby is born and continues for the rest of their natural lives. Lesson: Don’t focus so much on the writing of the book that you forget what happens after it’s finished. Audrey Kalman
9. Once “the baby” arrives we protect it like a mother bear and will do everything in our power to give it the best start ever.
At some point our work is done. We have to let it go off into the world on its own… susielindau
10. You feel like you’re never really prepared; yours is more beautiful than anyone else’s and is perfect, except when it’s driving you nuts. Oh, and its younger siblings are always clamoring for attention. Jennette Marie Powell
11. Like any parent, not everyone is gonna love that little baby like Mama does. And that’s the tough part. We Mamas are pretty protective of our babies. As in, “Don’t mess with my baby!” Karen McFarland
12. Sometimes multiples strike our wombs. While two or three can be workable, making like Octo-Mom begets all sorts of problems…
13. Once you birth them, they never go away, LOL, and keep coming back for money. (I know, I know, books are supposed to make you money, but I’m shelling out a lot at the moment on cover artists, copyeditors, and so on, so that’s my frame of reference!). K.B. Owen
14. As book-parents, we’ll have many ups and downs. Support from others is crucial. So is a sense of humor.
15. Raising a book or a baby, there is DOUBT that you are any good at it. Also it’s pretty cool how can you see bits of yourself in them. Coleen Patrick
16. As much as you love your book and try to turn it into the vision you have in your head, sometimes is frustrates you and won’t do what you want it to. Marcy Kennedy
17. Like Kourtney Heintz, your characters could be worse than rebellious teens. She has no control over them.
18. Those cereal killers like to get their Kix in the cereal aisle. lynnkelleyauthor
19. If you leave your writing in the cereal aisle of the supermarket, it goes to the lost and found and you don’t go to jail. Bill Parker
20. Your child (book) will make unexpected-to-you friends. As a result, your horizons will widen, your tolerance will grow, and your world will get bigger. patodearosen
Which item strikes a chord with you? Any more to add? What other writing metaphors/parallels do you use?
If you haven’t yet signed up for the Beauty of a Woman BlogFest II, you still can! Fifteen days and counting…