After having two children, I thought I would never have to suffer the birthing process again, then I wrote a book. Just like producing offspring, the actual conception was fun, interesting and entertaining. During the “pregnancy” I did rewrites, added chapters, rearranged and dreamed of what my offspring would accomplish. Then began the actual birth.
A labor is thought of in three stages. The body readying the muscles, softening tissue for the baby to come down. Then there’s the engagement in the birth canal, and the final stage of pushing. An edit is similar. There is the restructuring of plot and story line. Then the grammar checks and at last, the line edit.
With each editor’s comment, correction, and suggestion, the pains intensify. My poor husband sits by my side patiently listing to each rewrite as I read them aloud. I do this in order to ‘hear’ my mistakes. When he tires of it I call family and friends, until, mysteriously they no longer answer when I call.
Oh the pain! Cutting my favorite tidbits. Rewriting, rewording, reworking chapters. Tightening the theme. Balking then relenting to my editors careful direction. My weary husband holds on, trying to ease my discomfort with food, chocolate and copious amounts of coffee. I hear him whisper on the phone, “No, she’s not there yet,” when people call.
Finally, it’s time to push. At this point I want to give up, quit and never write again. Then in a growl of pain, it’s delivered, much to my exhausted family, friends and husband’s relief.
In the after glow of a job well done, I look with wonder upon the new arrival. In gratefulness I can recognize my editors skill, my family’s support and my husband’s love. And just like that dewy-eyed new mother, who swears she will never do it again, a few years later, I find myself facing another child on the way.
Oh when will I ever learn!