Why being an almost-writer is like being a new mother

Everyone has an opinion

Which is nice.  Mostly.  Of course, when I say everyone, I mean, everyone.  Even those random people who cross the road instead of even walking past a bookshop let alone contemplate going in.  The metaphorically childless people who not only don’t have a child, they don’t even like children.  Especially criminal children.  They’re the worst!

You have to suspend all personal shame

In the same way that birth is messy and rather gross and means that your bits are on display to more people than you ever knew fit in a delivery room, so too is writing messy and rather gross and your metaphorical bits are on display to more people than you ever knew fit in a workshop room.  And everyone wants a really good look.  And everyone will notice the bit that you’re not keen on but were too lazy to wax (so to speak).

You’re permanently defensive

I work hard to not be That Mum who makes a real pain of herself around school and life generally but it’s a battle and I’m constantly supressing that desire to leap to the daughters’ defence.  I feel the same about my work.  I have to trust that others know what they’re doing and stop chipping in with ‘yes but…’

Acknowledging its faults is hard!

Shh… one daughter is a little bit hairy and another tends a little to the BO but my writing? No… that’s perfect.  In every way shape and form, lovingly crafted and perfect!  Okay… no, you’re right… that bit could do with some work… but then rest of it?  Perfect!

No matter what, you’ll love it

Even my badly-written, never-seen-the-light-of-day romance novel has its good parts.  And I worked hard on it.  And I finished it!  So yes, a little bit of love at any rate!

You’re never quite ready for it to leave

My eldest just turned thirteen.  In five years, she’ll have left home.  Oh help (in the words of Piglet!)  That’s hardly any time at all for me to help her.  Similarly, my writing never seems to be quite done but I know at some point, probably before I’m ready and definitely before I’m ‘finished’ it’ll be time to release it.  Oh help!

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