I have to make an announcement: I’m giving birth in nine months.
Not to a human child (my physical eggs are way past the sell-by date) but to a book. My book is due to arrive in November. Nine months to go.
To say I’m an anxious mother would be a glossy understatement. I’m sweaty-palmed ‘n fretting and will probably remain that way until the due date arrives. I was the same way when I birthed my two human-children.
Physical birth is similar to the book of a book.
“It’s the biggest pain that is the quickest forgotten.” That’s what my father told me when I was pregnant with my first child. Easy for him to say – he never went through birth. My mother, on the other hand, went through four – two of them hellacious (I was born feet first). She knew what I was in for.
What I didn’t anticipate was the palpable fear that gripped me throughout the whole pregnancy. I never truly relaxed nor did I “glow”. Instead, I silently stressed, constantly waiting for the other baby shoe to drop. If you saw me, you might have never guessed how terrified I was because I’m the master of the poker face. You would have needed to look at my nails, bitten to nubs, to know the truth.
I quickly found ways to add to my anxiety.
Such as: reading books about horrible children that beat their mothers with hammers! I read one such book and found myself having nightmares about babies trying to murder me.
And let’s not forget how watching films of women giving birth are not good ideas for the squeamish. Lucky me got to watch the grossest birth film ever in Lamaze class. Panting hairy-legged hippies trying to breath in sync with their porn-stached partners (remember, this was 1984) and every graphic detail on close-up. I tried not to throw up and secretly made a vow to shave my legs and not scream while birthing. (I know, I know, most will say that birth is beautiful but that one…not so much.)
If that’s not bad enough, you also get women dying to share their birth horror stories with you! Yee haw! This amped up the paranoia to epic levels, I tell ya. I not only got to hear all that scary stuff but I also had the unique pleasure of having a particularly vile relative who was wishing that I would have a “long, hard birth” like the one she had. She also warned me about the stretch marks and how my body “would be ruined too.” Nice, eh?
This is the fear-filled climate I entered into when I gave birth to my daughter.
Despite all the worse-case scenarios rambling through my head, I had an easy four-hour labor and walked out of the hospital wearing my normal clothes, carrying a beautiful little girl who had so much black hair that the nurses put ribbons in it. And much to the chagrin of that nasty sister-in-law, I didn’t get any stretch marks (cocoa butter and good genes – mom didn’t have any either). In case you were curious, my legs were shaved and I did not scream.
Even if you’ve never physically given birth, I can say that creating your first book is very much like that. You don’t know what to expect. You’re full of joy but scared out of your ever-loving wits. You worry about all the things that might go wrong. You wonder if you’ll make it to the due date – or if you’ll miscarry (I had a miscarriage between my two children so that added a new level of anxiety when I was pregnant with my son.).
You’ll hear horror stories of publishers gone bad or the editors from hell. (Do NOT listen to any of that jazz, please.)
You might even encounter some people who want to see you fail or who are so envious that they won’t even congratulate you. You have to push past that.
The anxiety about being good enough, worthy enough, strong enough to write might be present the entire time. The struggle is real, yo.
You conceive, do the hard labor…and then, when it is time to give birth, you surround yourself with your most trusted midwives and push it out even though you are freaking the hell out because there is no turning back now. It arrives. You’re elated. It is out in the world. You’ve done it.
You think it’s the most beautiful book in the world and you hope upon hope that others will think the same thing.
Nine months to go.
Push, push, breathe.
Pssttt…..wanna take a look at my “baby?” It’s ready for pre-order now! Introducing: The Tarot Coloring Book. I hope you’ll find her as lovely as I do.
What’s better – a traditional publisher or self publishing? Alexandra Franzen answers the question.
Why older folks need to stop buying old stuff. (I agree!)
Great post from Patti Digh: What I learned on the orange couch.
Susan Hyatt is such a baller! Check out her Dream Boat Cruise – this is uh-may-zing and so over-the-top!
The Gift of Fear was one of the best books I ever read. Check out this interview with Gavin de Becker over at Lenny.
I’m excited for the final season of Girls. Here’s what one viewer had to say about it (hint: it’s about time this show ended).
Who are you really? Paige Zaferiou asks the question and answers it.
Do you have trouble setting boundaries? Get a seat on Randi Buckley’s webinar How To Say No Without Guilt.
I’m guest posting over at The Girl Who Knows: How to bounce back after a breakup. (Hint: it’s okay to grieve.)
Two of my favorite people talking about pathfinding: Beth Maiden interviews Pace Smith.
Struggling with parenting? Dr. Suzanne Gelb has the book for you: It starts with you.
Good news for fans of the Gaian Tarot: Healing the Earth, Healing Ourselves: it’s going to be published again!
Angelo Nasios also has a tarot book coming out soon: TarotUnlocking the Arcana
On my wish list: The Art of Money: A Life-Changing Guide to Financial Happiness from Bari Tessler.
Also tops on my list: The Spender’s Guide to Debt-Free Living: How a Spending Fast Helped Me Get from Broke to Badass in Record Time. Perfect for my 2nd house Saturn!
What I’m Grateful For:
A great publisher
The right help all along
Big pots of tea
Watching things unfold
A family who supports me 100%
Soundtrack for 2/20/16: Freak by Lana Del Rey <-gotta love up my Lana!
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2016
images from stock photography and personal collection