This week I had the amazing privilege of witnessing a miracle. The birth of my friend’s daughter, Soreya Celleri. It was a home water birth, surrounded by friends and family.
An act of love. A celebration of creation.
And I realized in that moment just how much writing a novel is like having a baby. And how we as writers can learn from the birthing process to improve the writing process.
In the beginning there are a million ideas shot into the womb of consciousness. They flirt with us and give us dreams of new worlds and new stories. They tempt us into their web of dreams.
Eventually, one idea takes root and begins to grow. It multiplies, growing limbs and tissue. Forming a heart and awareness all its own. It is alive inside of us.
For this to happen, we have to allow all the ideas to filter through us. We have to stay open to the seeds of creation implanting themselves in us. We have to engage in acts of exploration. In acts of love. So that we can embrace a new reality.
So now we have started our book or story. We are walking the road of new beginnings. Life is flourishing in us.
This is a process that takes time, nourishment, love, and attention to thrive. We need to feed it consistently—our plots, characters, dialogue and words. There is a structure to this stage. Steps that must be taken. An order for things. A baby grows in a specific way, developing organs, fingers, toes…all in their right time.
So too does a novel need all of its parts fleshed out and created in the right order, at the right time. Rush your novel and it will be born premature, struggling to survive outside the womb of creation. Take too long and it will atrophy, dying before it has breathed its first breath. But care for it in the right timing and it will enter the world ready to be embraced by those waiting.
When a baby is ready to be born…when it has been prepared for properly and given the time it needs to develop and grow…it shoots into the world effortlessly.
With a baby, you shop for appropriate baby items, prepare the family for the new arrival, and form a bond with the newborn so she is ready to greet her new family.
With your novel, proper preparation is just as important. You shop for the appropriate publishing options, get solid editing, and create a dynamic cover. You then prepare your audience for your new book. Creating a platform, marketing your book and priming your readers are all crucial for pre-launch success.
When you honor the natural rhythms of writing and publishing your novel, the result is a well-developed, anticipated book that shoots out of your creative space and into the hands of those who love your work. Your readers, whose lives will be impacted by your words…your creation.
Whether giving birth to a baby, or giving birth to a novel, the creation process is a miracle to be embraced.
Kimberly Kinrade is a Young Adult fantasy author whose first book, “Bits of You & Pieces of Me,” (not YA, but a collection of short stories, poems and essays) that tell the tale of a young girl in love with love who discovers the demon of a splintered heart when that love turns violent. Watch for her YA fantasies, Death by Destiny and The Reluctant Familiar this fall! Find her on Twitter, Facebook, or her website.