Writing a Novel is Like Birthin' a Baby
When I took the NANOWRIMO challenge in November 2013, I had no Idea what I was in for. Just like with a pregnancy, I was at first completely excited. Here I was ready to write a novel and I was going to do so in only one month. Out of the shute I whirled into a frenzy of writing that lasted for about two weeks.
The excitement, the glory, the writing wore off quickly after that initial push and it soon became painful. I was stuck with morning sickness. I was lothe to sit down at the computer and put words on screen. But I forged ahead and actually wrote something everyday.
Toward the end of the month I became harried. I was no where near finished with the book and honestly didn't know exactly who my characters were or where they were headed. I did know how I wanted to end the story. That was a help, but the middle part was slow in showing itself.
By November 30, I was in a complete panic. Of course I wasn't going to finish the book in time for it to be submitted for the 1st place award that I was sure I would win. So it is with growing fetuses, one simply has to wait, take care of oneself, and wait some more.
Dissolusioned? Oh yeah. What was I thinking? I can't possibly write a book. It is just too much trouble. But now I'm in the fix most women are when they say to their husbands, "It's all your fault! My body is ugly, my face is breaking out, and I feel baaaaad!" Naturally, there isn't anything one can do about it, but see it through.
There were weeks at a time that I wrote nothing. I languished on the couch feeling sorry for myself or I watched Ancient Aliens. Then there were times where I couldn’t wait to write, write, write. But all the while, things were percolating in my brain. I would have fits of genius and fits of blankness. It went on this way for months. Additionally, I moved twice and once I fell on my computer and had to buy a new one. So it goes. The cravings for pickles and icecream and the shear exhaustion of pregnancy.
One day, something extraordinary happened. I felt that baby move! It was the spark I needed to make things happen. God opened up heaven and told me who my characters were and what they were going to go through. He even told me how to do the research for the interesting points I wanted to make. I was positively glowing.
The heartbeat was strong and the body was perfect. It was time to make sure that all the important little cells were growing like a beautiful bouquet. I could see the end in sight.
The due date. Yikes! I can do this, really, I can. It was beginning to be a little bit scary. There is a watermelon growing inside and it was about to pop out ripe and sweet. But not without a lot of pain. The due day is drawing nearer and nearer. The words don’t look right. Time has come to go back through the entire book and make as many changes as possible. Then there were the nasty little boo boos. Oh God! Please, don’t forsake me now.
Down to the last push. Re-reading for the one hundredth time and my eyeballs are crossed and about to pop out. I have pestered my entire family and most of my friends. Driving them crazy as I begged and pleaded for them to give me feedback. It was the problem of setting up the baby’s room. Nothing is good enough. Need to change the color. Must have a closet full of clothes the child won’t wear until she’s eleven. And everyone has an opnion.
Down to the wire now. Only two hours left before I have to push the ‘publish’ button. Oh boy. It was the scramble to make sure all the bags are packed, the doctor has been called, and the route to the hospital has been laid out thrice.
This is it. July 30, 2014. Nine months have passed. Everything that can be done to the book has been done. With a deep sigh and a tickle in my heart I hit the upload bar. It only takes a moment for the book to appear. Butterflies now and PUBLISH!
Heck, that was easier than I thought. I better start writing another one tomorrow.
Lady Elizabeth Tullos is the author of Ivory Wild. It is available on Amazon at