Anyone reading this ever given birth? For you guys out there, let me give you the scoop. The third trimester, that last rocky road to the delivery room is like walking through fire, jumping from a plane and having the swine flu all at the same time. What’s your biggest fear? Snakes? They’re there too. Public Speaking (in the nude)? Yup, it’s happening. Combine that with a chorus of voices inside and outside your head, all shouting instructions (often conflicting) and you pretty much have it. Giving birth sucks. Yes, at the end you have a sweet little baby to hold but hey … everything comes at a cost.
We writers all want that beautiful end product. We’re learning everything we possibly can about the current publishing market. We’re carefully targeting our queries and meticulously editing everything from the elevator pitch to the full manuscript. We’re actively seeking critique groups and readers to give input, and lighting candles or saying novenas on a regular basis. If we’re smart, we’re looking for the right mentor and somehow, some way we know … really and truly know … that there’s just one tiny piece missing, one slipping cog in the whole machine. As soon as it all falls into place we will go from being writers to being authors and we’ll finally have that baby (in the form of our first published novel) in our arms. Hee ha! The visions are magnificent.
But what really goes into the final trimester of that transformation? Does every person we listen to get representation in the final product? Can we possibly ever thank them all enough? And did we choose to listen to the correct voices, careful to retain our own voice in the process? Have we used everything we know to put the flame to the rocket and shoot off that amazing fireworks display in our imagination? Are we manifesting a reality or spinning our wheels in a bog?
Being in this place is harder than being at the beginning when we were so private couldent summon the courage to show our writing to a living soul. Being in this place is more terrifying than venturing into the first critique group or posting the first short story on the internet. Being here is like that moment right before you KNOW you are in labor. Scary as hell.
Am I close or is it yet another false alarm? Because I see this as a process very much like giving birth, I can’t just quit and decide to no longer be pregnant. See, I simply have to give life to this thing. Period. I have no choice. The only questions are … how much longer will I have to wait and what more can I do?
Maybe if I move some furniture? Back when my son was due, they told me that a little physical strain just might bring on labor. It’s either move furniture or have sex.
Sex might distract me too much so I think I’ll move the love seats. Maybe there’s a publishing contract under one of them. Never leave a rock unturned, I always say.
That and never, ever give up a dream.