Nursing a Story

Being locked away with your novel is a little like being a mother with a newborn baby. In both cases you can feel isolated and exhausted. I have been been writing 8 or 9 hours a day lately in order to keep to my deadline which is set for June.

When my babies were very young, I remember feeling this way a lot, especially at night when I had to drag myself out of a warm bed to feed them. It was easy to imagine that we were the last two creatures on the planet. Of course that’s a silly thought, but when the house is silent except for the occasional creaking wall, and the dark has settled around you, and you are half asleep, the mind can lead you down many an odd path. And the same applies to writing. While I’m tugging at words, rearranging sentences, playing with images in my head, it’s hard to imagine other writers doing the same thing.

So it was a relief, when the other day, a friend emailed me about a particular problem she was having with her story. We emailed back and forth for a while. I posed questions, offered suggestions and hopefully helped her a little. But what it did for me was invigorating.

Someone else was going through the same frustration and joy, turmoil, angst and self doubt that I was. I was not alone.

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