The past few months have been filled with eager anticipation regarding the birth of my grandson, but now that he’s here and settling into life on the planet earth, I find myself continuing that anticipatory feeling directed toward some friends of mine and their own particular labors of love. Although we’re not talking about human babies anymore (well, in one case we are) these folks are gestating something mighty special anyway.
Having given birth to a real child, I’m familiar with the feeling of putting your whole being into a single creation, and I would imagine that writing a book is the same in many ways. Although I completed the NaNoWriMo challenge twice, those 50,000 word manuscripts could hardly be called a book. Frankly, that month’s worth of effort amounts to little more than the one act of intercourse it takes to fertilize an egg. It’s the next nine months (or 12 months or 4 years or however long it takes a writer to research, rethink, refine, reinvent, and recreate the original embryonic idea that started them on the road to publication) that make the final product into a true marvel of creation
Thanks to their blogs and social media, I follow my friend’s progress much as I followed my daughter in law’s updates and photos during her pregnancy. I feel their excitement when research opens up a new avenue of investigation or confirms their suppositions, my heart sinks when their plot stumbles and the words don’t flow. I cheer them along in my heart and with my comments.
I only had one child, but people tell me it’s easier after the first, both physically and emotionally, that there is comfort is having successfully completed the process before and knowing what to expect. Writers – does it become easier or any less exciting with each successive book? Does one success build upon another, or is each book a fresh start, a new endeavor, complete with all the ensuing anxiety of the first?
Creation is a mighty act, and though nothing can compare with creating a human life, but bringing stories and characters into the world for everyone to see is marvelous and scary and altogether wonderful as well. So for all my writer friends who are working and creating in these days, may your labors be successful and fruitful, and may your books find loving eyes and hearts to read them.
These writers were referenced in this post. Please click on the links and learn more about them and their work.
Andi Cumbo, who is writing her first book, a creative nonfiction book about the people who were once enslaved on the Virginia plantation where she grew up.
Angie Mizzell, who has completed her first book, a memoir about her experiences in broadcasting and her decision to change her career midstream.