I know that not everyone will agree, but that’s ok. I am welcome to my own opinion, considering I have experienced both. So without further ado, here are five ways writing a novel is like being pregnant. BTW- No….I’m not ❤
1. It starts as a secret that even the pregnant chica doesn’t know about.
If you’ve ever been pregnant before, you probably know where I’m going with this. Right around the time I found out I was preggers, something just “felt” different. This difference when you’re an aspiring novelist, is the day you think you just may be “on to something.” It’s that bit of inspiration that gets you out of bed and typing away on your laptop at 3 a.m. It could be sparked by a conversation you overhead at the bookstore or by a commercial you saw on TV. Whatever it was, it generated something you can work with. It’s an exciting moment, just like “finding out.”
2. What’s growing on the inside is rapidly making things too snug on the outside. #itsbabytakeoverbody
How quickly you ditch belts and tight bands for anything loose fitted and breezy. In a sense, this is the first way that I had to start making room for something I couldn’t see yet. I wore mostly dresses and skirts. It was so irritating to have anything tight against my emerging baby bump. That’s the funny part. It blew me away that I seemed to be growing uncomfortable so early on. At that point, no one could see any sign of my pregnancy, but I could definitely feel the change in my waistline. Until you’ve been pregnant, no one can explain how important it is that you find what makes you comfortable. When it comes to how it’s like writing a novel, the big thing is coming to terms that you will have to rearrange your life to fit it in. Not everyone has the luxury of writing all day long, but if you really want to write something worthwhile, you’ll find a way to write even just a few moments out of your day.
3. You must always BEWARE of dream squashers. Shield your eyes and ears.
What is a dream-squasher? Well, it works a lot like a dream catcher, except without so much catching and a lot more squashing. I should also tell you that dream-squashers are usually living, breathing beings and not sacred inanimate objects. Let me set this up for you. I don’t know why it is, but for some reason, when people see that you’re an expectant mother, it conjures up the most ridiculous questions and comments you’ve ever heard in your life. And don’t even let me get started on the horror stories. Dealing with well-meaning family and friends is one thing, but it’s even more daunting when strange women in the grocery store feel the need to touch your belly and recall their 72 hour labor in grotesque detail. If I would have listened to all the stupid things “experts” told me about having a baby, I would have quite possibly missed out on the beautiful birth story I desired and the uh-mazing delivery of my little boy at home. In this same way, I think it’s best to not let the things people say detour you from accomplishing your creative goals. Do what I did. I didn’t watch or listen to ANYTHING that painted an unpleasant picture of the birthing experience. Granted, there is a lot of information out there. Some of which, point out legitimate concerns and warnings, but if there is no filter, a mom-to-be is easily overwhelmed. I think it’s just safe to say: writers need to put up their shields.
4. Just add water. Hydration is a must.
Water is essential to sustaining life on this planet. It is even more so important when growing a baby. This is the reverse of the point above. In one hand, you can’t let others pollute your atmosphere (mentally or physically) and you MUST compensate for the “pull” that the (baby/story) has on your system. Nine months of nurturing a baby can be draining, as is writing a compelling story. Both are beautiful experiences, but they are a lot of work. I think it’s important for writers to fill up on what fuels them and what puts them in their element. Music gets me there generally fast.
5. It’s better to relax until it’s time to push.
One thing I found out during the delivery process is it’s better to relax until it’s time to push, and it’s better to work with your contractions instead of fighting against them. Man, oh man – is THAT easier said than done! You may not be like me, but I believe there is a Creator to this vast universe; a Creator that fashioned a woman’s body in a perfect way, with the full capacity of giving, receiving and nurturing love. This same Creator has given us all minds to think and create as an act of our will.
Bonus Round: Absent-mindedness.
It’s called “pregnancy brain”. Not all expectant mothers experience this, but I sure did. I forgot things. I misplaced things. It can be frustrating and possibly even more frustrating for those that have to put up with you. But in defense of every mom-to-be, she has an awful lot on her mind, and with good reason! You’re kind of in your own bubble for nine months. Everything else is on hold. This is JUST LIKE writing a novel! Everyone wants to know what you’re going to name it and when the bun will be done. But they may or may not care to hear about the person or persons inside you that have been making your body uncomfortable and glorious to live in at the same time. And that for nearly a year! LOL. Ok, I know that makes it sound like I hear voices…. But really, it is kind of like you are “carrying” your characters around. That is, until it’s time for everyone you love to meet them.
Hopefully you can see the amazing comparisons. Can you think of anymore?
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