Feeling the pain

April 18, 2013 About Writing, Writing Comments (0) 130

Ok. So, I had a rather hard day yesterday. There was this scene that I had to write, and honestly, I never felt that much anxiety (yeah, it was that “go where it hurts” thing again). I sat there, shaking, sweating, lightheaded. I did everything NOT to write that scene. I emailed every single friend and checked every five minutes if they answered already. I strolled around tumblr, twitter and facebook. I came THIS close to cleaning my kitchen. But finally, I wrote it out of the way.

It was a lot like giving birth. And if you’re sensible or easily grossed out, you should read no further.

Being close to due-date or already past due-date, is terrible. You know it has to happen. There is this person inside you that has to get out.

Of course you could take the “easy” road. My firstborn was a medically induced c-section, but there went something wrong. For months I was in terrible pain. (Well, at this point, my analogy fails a bit…)

I decided to give birth to my second baby at home. I didn’t want to go to the hospital and risk a second c-section. Well, of course, there were problems. The contractions didn’t get stronger, and after two days, when they finally DID get serious, the cervix didn’t open. Try not to press, if everything your body wants to do is press that thing out! (That’s why, after two deliveries, I decided that there’s no possible way for my to get another child)

Afterwards, you forget. The body doesn’t remember pain. And the moment you’re child opens her eyes, blinks and  looks at you in wonder is the moment you ask yourself, how it is possible to hold something so perfect, so beautiful in your hands.

With writing, it’s similar. Not the pain, of course. In its pain, giving birth is excruciatingly unique and beyond comparison. But the time before. It starts with light contractions, slowly building up to the point of no return. The point where you feel like you’re getting ripped apart. It has to get out, whether it is writing or  a child. You may be afraid, anxious, nervous, but if it is something you want to, you have to write – or something you want to do or ANYTHING – then there is no way to avoid it, unless you want it to eat you from inside.

A friend of mine – a writer – told me, he never experienced such profoundly unsettling writing-moments. Perhaps it was the theme of the scene that made it so difficult for me.

But perhaps it’s me. I’m not an esoteric, and can be quiet rational and grounded. But I tend to feel everything in a more or less excessive way – everything fictional at least. My first till third undying loves were fictional characters, and I still fall easily in love with fictional characters, sometimes even my own. Not so easily with real persons. But someone (who is a shrink, but not mine) told me, that this overly excessive character trait is part of my writer identity and gives me the ability to tell those stories…To fall in love easily, to be easily engaged in fiction. Watch me obsess over my favourite tv show or book – you’d think me a teenager.

However. Now that this scene is out of the way, I’m feeling better. Partly. Part of me wants to go back and feel it again. Not the pain, be it child-bearing-pain or otherwise. But that moment right after. When you hold it (whatever IT is) between the palms of your hands, your sun, your moon, your galaxy, and you realize you’re all dust from the same stars. And you never loved something so thoroughly and absolute.

(Just to be clear, I’m NOT saying that writing SHOULD be this mystical thing, and if it’s not, it’s not real writing. No. (That would be really dumbass of me). I’m just saying it CAN be this way, and if it is, you should treasure those moments. They don’t come easily and they don’t come often. They’re the unicorns of your writing life, but it’s so worth it to endure.)

(AND: Don’t give birth to your child alone at home without help. You need a midwife. That’s their job, to help you and to judge whether it is acceptable to proceed in your home or too risky and you need to go to the hospital. Just to be clear.)

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