Where’s Sigourney When I Need Her?

I’ve heard people talk about writing books in poetic, Mother Earth, kinds of terms. They don’t write, they “birth,” and it’s not a book, it’s their “creative child.”

Ignoring the artsy-intellectual tones (which always make me shudder. Writing is a job. Do you ever hear lawyers talk about their work as their “legal child” or that they “birthed the lawsuit?”), if writing is the act of birthing, then I’m no Mother.

To me, the act of writing doesn’t feel like a pregnancy, full of hope, holding the growing child within and wondering what will become him in the wide world.

I feel like the poor schmucks on the space ship, with some alien life-force growing in them, feeding on them, and eventually ripping free and destroying me in the process. My ideas crowd my heart and mind, screaming for release, demanding a place in my schedule. And I’m always scribbling, scribbling, quietly muttering, “Don’t kill me. I’m writing as fast as I can.”

Case in point: I have a book due. I have edits due. Yet, here I am, madly trying to jot down notes and lines for FOUR stories before the ideas abandon me and trot off to someone else.

My author friends and I always laugh because the job of writing seems to glamorous. What better life than to sit in pjs, eating chocolate, and creating worlds in our minds?

The reality is much different: long hours, frustrating moments (sometimes weeks at an end) when the writing isn’t working and we can’t for the life of us figure out why, the angst of submission, the pain of rejection, the guilt as we print and print (destroying trees and using energy) only to realize the story doesn’t work and we have to put it down.

Snort.

Oh yeah. Writing’s SO glamorous…wish Sigourney was here to lay down some ground fire and save me…

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