How to Make a Baby, I Mean Manuscript.

It feels like a millenia since I have chosen this platform to write. Honestly, I have been avoiding it. I have been avoiding The Writer’s Midwife like a sad, deflated dream  that I couldn’t bear to look at. I questioned to my resistance to engaging with those of you who find my words here. Worried I would disappoint you, dear reader, or that I couldn’t produce enough to keep you engaged or that I had derailed from the writing too long to even help you birth your own stories, your own creativity. The pain became great and the more pain I was in creatively, the more I retreated into the closet hoping I would find my creative salvation there. In the meantime, I logged countless hours in my journal and rarely have a shared any of those words with anyone. I battled with the dream I’ve had of being a writer and even had an opportunity to submit my poetry manuscript at the end of 2015 for serious consideration into Frontenac House’s 2016 Poetry Quartet. I ended up having to face the disappointment of my own limitations when the poems chose not to come. That’s the other thing, I am 33 weeks pregnant with my third baby and this pregnancy has given me a gaze onto the world in which I hadn’t previously experienced. This baby has altered my sense of gravity and pulled me deep inward towards myself, reminding me that it was time to make a human being, not poems. During the throws of morning sickness, I was called to practice Mindfulness in every sense of the word, otherwise I would be face down in the toilet again. Once I had recovered from that, the Universe had other plans for me and I was called to do a lot of healing work through Reiki, Yoga and Sound Healing. All of the healing work I had the privilege of facilitating has been profound and reconnected me with myself in ways I hadn’t even dreamed of. Now, 7 weeks away from my due date, I find myself growing quieter and spiraling even deeper inward. I wrote through it all and I kept the dream of being a bonafide “writer” in my consciousness, often terrified that it may always remain just that, a dream.

So I started thinking, if I can make a baby, I can make a manuscript! Even though I created two other wonderful beings, those ones choose to came to me at a time I didn’t expect. This baby, we chose. We chose the timing (for the most part) and consciously manifested this pregnancy. It has been a whole other experience compared to the other two. Here’s how we made a baby:

  1. Practice: Practice, practice, practice. A slight knowledge of my internal rhythms and practice when  those rhythms told me to.
  2. Trust: Each month we had to surrender and trust that this baby would come when he was ready. We LET IT GO!
  3. Listen: Listening to my body allowed me to connect with the knowledge of whether I had conceived or not. I remember teaching side crow in yoga and feeling a sensation in my low belly that I hadn’t felt before. It was that moment that told me something had changed.
  4. Allowing: Allowing the changes to take place that are necessary. Making space for the baby to grow and for my body to change whether I enjoyed it or not.
  5. Checking in: Prenatal appointments, massage, yoga and chiropractic to make sure my body is aligned as best as possible for the main event.
  6. Labour: It’s hard work and a different journey every time you go through it. The most important thing to remember is to keep a chill attitude and not work against your body and it’s contractions while you’re in the trenches.
  7. The Big Push: They call this second stage labour and it’s a dance of singing baby down through your bones and out into the world. It’s an urge that is undeniable. Push that baby into the world but not too hard and it will make for happy vaginas.
  8. Celebrate: Baby is here! It’s time to smell it’s sweet smell and get to know this little being who has been on the inside all of this time. It’s a magical time.

So that’s how I made a baby and how I have helped other women transition through this journey! Now, here’s where I lose a little credibility because I have not given birth to a book in this world yet. But, this is how I imagine a manuscript is made:

  1. Practice: Practice, practice, practice. This is the fun part! Getting to create something out of nothing. Write, write, write! Get comfortable with the blank page, the clean canvas! Create, create, create! Listen and allow the call of the muse to inspire you!
  2. Trust: Surrender to what you are working on in the raw. As Austin Kleon says, “show your work!” Allow your work to breathe and let yourself have shitty first drafts!
  3. Listen: Listen to the pen, the voices that pour through you. Pick a time each day to write that is best for you, follow your natural creative rhythms.
  4. Allowing: Again, allow yourself to make mistakes. Allow your work to be unpolished. Allow space for your inner critic to have a voice so the mere attempt to silence it won’t cause a rebellion (trust me this makes it so much worse). In fact, you can give your inner critic a job to do after you’ve allowed it to have it’s say such as filing your taxes or sweeping the dust bunnies off the floor that you’re too busy to sweep up since you’re writing so much.
  5. Checking in: This is where you can get a peer to read your work and start to get feedback, but ONLY when you’re good and ready! You can review your own work and edit as many times as you like before you let prying eyes see it. Also, make sure you trust wholeheartedly the people you’re showing your work to. This is an EXTREMELY vulnerable  time and writers need to stay grounded in their vision and take the advice that resonates with them.
  6. Labour: This is the part I haven’t gotten to yet in my personal life. I have allowed other people’s criticism to paralyze me more than once and blocked myself from making it this far. I have learned and am moving forward and I am sure I will birth a manuscript at some point. I can imagine this is “labour” because of the amount of editing and getting it just write to be birthed into the world. P.S. For those of you who have seen your manuscripts come to life, I would love your input on this stage.
  7. The Big Push: This is the book launch! This is standing at the podium and reading your work to a captive audience. This is the sitting behind the book signing table hoping your words reached someone somewhere. This is traveling around and sharing your new addition with the world and all of the vulnerability that comes with that.
  8. Celebrate: I hope all authors around the globe, take a quiet or a not-so-quiet moment to celebrate their work. Whether that  be a pint or a meditation on gratitude that this work went out into the world. It is hard work and it deserves to be celebrated! Smell the pages of your own manifestation as soon as it’s off the press!

The dream still lingers over my shoulder, just like this baby did, waiting to be conceived. I am choosing to come out of hiding. Although I may not post everyday because I am creating another human being, I am tired of the fear and the naysayers. I will bring this from dream to reality when the time is right in the format that feels perfect for me. Thank you all for reading these words and know that I would love to hear about your creative journey or even your birth journey if you feel you need someone to lend an ear.

Much Love,