Before you question if I’m trying for the world record as the oldest person to give birth, to three babies no less, I hasten to clarify that my current embryos are personal essays. I am working on two for the CBC Literary Awards contest for non-fiction due by February 28, and a new submission for the Globe and Mail Facts and Arguments section I want to submit this month as well.
Any woman who has ever had babies remembers the experience of carrying a child in her womb. I was blessed with two pregnancies many years ago. As I think about the process, the similarities to writing are striking.
When I am pregnant with a story, it keeps reminding me of its presence. Squirming around in my head when I go for a walk. Kicking my gut when I am trying to concentrate in yoga class. Exerting pressure on a nerve while I sit until I shift in some way.
When I am pregnant with a story, I have learned to expect surprises. It is impossible to visualize the end product when I begin. I think I know the main point, what I want to say, the reason for telling the story. Along the way, something more profound often becomes the kernel of truth my writing uncovers.
When I am pregnant with a story, I fall in love with it, gradually and totally. I have learned that, at some point, I become blind to any flaws. When the stakes are high, I ask others to scan my work before I submit it in case my loss of objectivity has allowed a glaring error to escape my notice.
I had decided to take a break from blogging this week to concentrate on my three longer essays. And what have I got here? Three hundred and twenty words. It looks suspiciously like a blog entry. I love it!