I read a book of poetry a few years back entitled, “Pregnant These Past Twenty Years”. It was a self-published book written by Heather Archibald, a fellow Kittitian who happened to be the sister of a friend that I consider a brother. Ten years ago when I received the book, I wondered why that title? Was it in reference to her physical appearance or was it something deeper.
It’s only since trying to develop what was a hobby into a potential career that I’ve come to fully appreciate the title. A year ago I published my first novel. With it came not only legitimacy to my writing and a possibility of a career as an author, but also the expectation that I would publish more. Since then I have a certain urgency to publish my other work, so of course I have a WIP.
Well I’ve been working on my WIP since the beginning of this year. Unlike authors whose primary career is being an author, I have a day job. Add to that a husband, a seven-year-old, a two-year-old, and a nine-month-old, and there is little time for writing. Yes I have made lots of vows to write at least a few pages each night, but many times I cannot even get one sentence written. So of course my WIP is taking long to complete despite having it totally written in my mind. The problem is, until I can key it into the computer, that’s where it stays... in my mind.
I can’t wait to finish the story. I can’t wait to type that last paragraph, that last sentence, that last word. Many authors, even on this blog, have compared writing a novel to giving birth. Well with this WIP I feel like I’m pregnant. I feel like I’m in the last trimester, my belly is hanging ready to drop, my feet are swollen and I am just anxiously waiting for those contractions to start. I can hardly wait to meet my new baby (the completed manuscript). But of course I have to wait and patiently finish the manuscript. Just as premature babies are not usually fully developed so is a premature manuscript.
Now, I finally understand what Heather meant by the title “ Pregnant These Last Twenty Years.”
So how do you deal with anxiety to reach to the end of your WIP?