Feb 16, 2013

I'm pregnant and there aint no epidural

I feel like I’m about to give birth to a third child. But this baby won't be loved by everyone.

Eight months ago, the idea to write a book came to me while I was in Samoa for the summer. I saw the pictures float in my mind like a movie, and I had to sit and type it all down. It became a hobby and perhaps an obsession to get this story out of my system, and what an incredibly enjoyable and challenging experience it has been so far. When the kids were tucked into bed, I went to work. My imagination came to life and I entered a whole different world.

For someone who loved to read but hadn’t written anything since university, it wasn’t always easy.

Imagine sitting down at the computer and opening Word. You have a blank page and a blinking cursor. Your fingers hover over the keyboard while your mind spins and works overtime—sifting through your vocabulary to form a perfect sentence. Two. Three. A whole paragraph. You have a story to tell and need to build a world in which that story can bloom. You form a vision of your main character in your mind. What will her name be? What does she look like? Does she have scars, piercings, a tattoo? What are her values? What are her fears? What are her struggles? Secondary characters. Who are they? How does she relate to them? What important role do they play in her life? You do some research. You have a thesaurus. You ask questions to the experts. 

Little by little, chapters were formed and I would send them to my family, and they would lovingly support me. I had no intent to share this with the world. I had one author friend. ONE. She encouraged me to publish this Pacific story. Let me tell you, the idea Freaked.Me.Out. and I doubted myself. Big time. Because not only am I going to expose my soul to the world, but once it’s out there, it will no longer be mine. Readers will take it and connect with it. Or not. Praise it or rip it to shreds.

So I had a decision to make, and I promptly decided to go ahead anyway. To publish it. To build a platform. Get exposure. 

In the world of indie writing, it can be incredibly lonely. Until you find other writers doing the exact same thing. They are mothers. They have families. They work in the day and write in the night. They have the same fears and doubts as me. I have found that once you connect with them, a whole network opens up to you. Resources. Experts. Support. An ear to vent out to. A cyberspace shoulder to cry on. I have received some of the best advice ever--“Suck it up, sister” and “Jump in with both feet” to name a few LOL. I found an incredible editor and an amazing cover designer as a result. 

In a little over a month from now, I will be uploading this story to Amazon, pushing “publish” and voila! I’ll be an author. Like a mama, I will be sending my baby out into the world and hope it’s received well and that people won’t throw TOO many cyberspace stones at it. But it’s also when I’ll get the opportunity to practise something in return: DETACHMENT.