Well actually it’s not, let’s be honest. Giving birth is about blood and babies and screaming (the baby cries too) and being the most tired you’ve ever been in your life. (If you haven’t had a baby yet, I’m only joking, it’s nothing like that, it’s a beautiful and wonderful experience). Writing a book is about pens, paper and laptops and hopefully not much blood.
But the metaphor is not completely lost on me. I can see the strange similarity between pushing out a new human life and pushing out a new book. The birth bit of the book does not come with the first draft or even the second. It arrives with the third, fourth and fifth drafts as you try and take your text to new levels amid brain fog and self doubt. I will skip comparisons to cervix dilation as I don’t think those would help. Does it get more painful and intense the more you edit and rewrite? Probably. Resist blaming your husband or wife at this stage though, as is customary in childbirth, and try not to threaten them with divorce. The resulting stress will take valuable time away from your book.
I am in the giving birth stage with my book Posy and the Witch’s Secret. Shelfstealers have given me top quality advice about edits, and now my brain is trying to transform this advice into a mind blowing manuscript. It is finding this process difficult and needs more tea/coffee/wine to help it. Right…will go and find some. I may be some time.