The Birth of Something Big
I ask again, have you ever wondered why you write? I think I know why I write. Literature in general is very important to me, and a big part of my life. I believe the art of writing, and writing well goes hand in hand with reading a good book. I can honestly say I love to read as much as I love to write. I always have and I always will.
After completing my 1st novel back in 1978, I felt like I had given birth to something really big. Though I will be the first to admit I can not relate to the depth of pain and misery a woman goes through during the birth of her child. I can say with some accuracy though the art of writing can be a very painful endeavor at times.
There were moments when I felt like many soon to be mothers do, unworthy and incapable of properly caring for such a huge, demanding responsibility long-term. As a writer, I developed several of the nagging concerns that plague many mothers. The ongoing list of things that must be done in preparation of the birth seemed overwhelming and enormously daunting. Fortunately, as the manuscript began to develop, take shape and grow, my confidence began to increase each time I added another page to the blossoming manuscript nesting on the corner of my desk.
Like many expectant mothers, my first priority was to insure I fulfilled my obligation as though my own life depended on it, not to mention the life of the child, or in my case, the manuscript. Finally, after an arduous 2 year journey, the manuscript was complete. In essence, my baby was born. Did I feel a twinge of postpartum depression? Most assuredly I did. Several days after, I began to feel inadequate, as though something was missing.
The excitement of writing and completing my first novel had all but evaporated. For several more days, I kept telling myself I never wanted to write another novel again. I would quiver at the mere thought of the steps I must now take to prepare this project for the next level. There was always a haunting rewrite to consider, a mountain of edits to complete, the painful search for a respectable agent, query letters to write, marketing strategies to consider and on and on it went. I could not help but wonder, oh God, what have I done?
In the final analysis, the answer was rather simple – I had given birth to something really big. Much bigger than I had ever imagined. And as intimidated as I was by the mere appearance of the thick stack of weathered papers piled with great care in its designated spot on my small roll-top desk, I knew deep within my writing career had officially begun. Much like the day a child is born, the birth as painful as it can be, the actual birth is just the beginning.
Many years of hard work and tears become the norm. Of course, there will be moments of sheer, unhindered joy, a splash of pleasure here and there, major growth spurts to endure, trials and tribulations to over come while remaining dedicated to the one process I cherish more than any other.
My second writing endeavor followed the same path as the first. Two years later I’d produced another 850 page behemoth. I can still recall the dread I felt after placing the last page on the heaping stack on the corner of my desk. After the 2nd novel was complete, I began to compose a book of poetry and another book of short stories. My third novel writing project began roughly one year after completing the second project, and on and on it went.
Today, I have written numerous books that follow the fiction path. I think I’ve done a decent job of writing stories that are compelling, thought provoking and entertaining. The thing about my writing career, getting published never seemed to be top priority mostly because I was fearful of the mounds of criticism that was sure to follow. My greatest joy has always come with spinning a decent yarn, more for my entertainment than for others.
Though at times it still may seem a bit painful when I sit down to write, there still isn’t anything in this world that I enjoy doing more than writing and of course reading a good book. My life seems complete when I have a meaty writing project nestled in my laptop and a good book resting on the coffee table next to my favorite reading chair.
I believe it’s fair to say there isn’t anything in the world I’d rather be doing and my hope is that you share the love of books and writing because to me, there simply isn’t anything greater in the world today, unless of course, you consider the birth of baby!