Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Writing is like...Raising a child...

What in the tarnation is a Meme?!  I'll admit, I googled it.  I wanted to see what I was getting myself into!  So this is what Wiki had to say: meme is an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture. While genes transmit biological information, memes are said to transmit ideas and belief information.

Simple enough.  So here is mine:  Writing is like... raising a child...

Although I do not have a published book or have a full grown child, this is how I imagine the process.  Before you submit to an agent or editor.  From idea to critique.  From birth to flying to coop…with no disgusting details.  *shudders at thought*

First you have an idea.  It's new and it's beautiful and it's brilliant.  Congratulations, it's a ___ (insert baby sex here).

Then you give it a plot.  And sub plots.  Character names.  Scenery.  You just keep adding and adding and adding.  Like a child learns to sit, crawl, stand, walk and talk. 

Next you edit.  If you’re like me, you like to edit as you go.  Make sure it's as good as you can get it before moving on to the next scene.  Like preparing a child for the world.  Sending them to school, helping with home work.

Last step is to send it off to be critiqued.  Your child leaves the nest for their next phase in life (although you know no one is really sitting there waiting to write on your child with a red pen, you do know they are being watched).  You hope you've done a good job.  That people will love it.  Respect it.  Help it along the way.

And all you can do is wait.  Wait for feedback, the good and the bad. 

That's what I've done.  I've taken the first four chapters, cleaned it up as best as I can (i.e. all I could stand to do) and sent it off to two amazing women who are fellow writers (and one even snagged herself an agent!) to be judged, ripped apart, and hopefully get some good feedback.  I’ve also sent it out to two former co-workers who are like my cheerleaders.  I told them to let me know what they like, good AND BAD!  I stressed the bad.

We need it!  Just like I want to know if my child behaves I want to know if my story is good.  Or what I can do to make it better

Do I know they will slash it apart?  Yes.  Am I prepared for that?  Yes.  But then again no.  I've been warned that this is hard, sending your work off and having it looked at and then ripped apart.  For that I am ready.  But I know it will be tough.  I am quite positive there will be tears.  This is something I have worked hard on.  Just like raising a child.  You bring it up the best you can, but then you have to leave it in the care of others—crit partners or teachers, fellow readers or future bosses—to make it, and them, the best they can possibly be.  Without this step you may never know what your potential is.  You will never know how well you raised your child.


Thank you to the lovely Melanie (who seriously needs to teach me how she made her blog so awesome...check her out) for tagging me in this game.  Melanie is all kinds of awesome and one of my fellow writings buddies who keeps me working hard to meet my daily goal (although she likes to distract me too).  She's got me hooked on the TV show Firefly.  See, distraction!  

Now, here are the rules (yes...I'm copying from her and pasting here...)

The goal is to come up with your own metaphor defining what "Writing is like..."

"like ice cream on a hot summer day"


"like a foray into an abysmal pit of loneliness"

Now it's my turn to tag three lucky bloggers to play this game with us!  The winners are.....(that was my drum roll)
1. Anna - It's not like she's going through edits or anything.
2. Anita - Who's blog posts are always fun and entertaining.
3. Ashley - Maybe this will help you keep writing.

Check out the blogs of these lovely ladies...well worth the time.

P.S.  I don't really say tarnation...hoping to get a laugh out of a certain blogger buddy who thinks it's funny when I say "y'all"...and I say that a lot.


Melanie_McCullough said...

Talk about distracting. I was supposed to be unplugged tonight, but saw your tweet about this post on my phone and I couldn't resist.

Although I have not raised children myself, I have sisters with kids so I love the comparison.

I'm not an expert but I'm more than happy to share anything you want to know about my blog design. Seriously, email me. (Address is on my blog)

Patricia Lynne said...

That is spot on! And we love our WIP like children too.

Jamie Handling said...

You're so write, our books are like our children. You never want to be told that your child is a bad seed, but need to know to make it better. Great post! Stop hiding! :)

Anita said...

Aww, what a great metaphor! And it's so true. One of the sayings I'll never forget is "Kill your babies" when referring to doing harsh edits on your book. Can't deny, that's almost what it feels like sometimes. LOL

Thanks for tagging me, lovely lady!

Christa said...

Yes, this is why so many writers talk about their manuscripts as their babies. When my husband mentioned having another kid, I told him I couldn't because of "the manuscript"...he he he.

Mandie Baxter said...

Melanie - awe, thanks! Sisters kids will do! :) And yea, will take you up on that!

Agree Patricia!

Haha Jamie! Thanks! The spider scared me out.

Always welcome Anita. Now I must go hunt your blog to find yours!

Haha Christa! That is too good! I hope he agreed!

Thanks ladies!

cherie said...

Good post! So true. I often compare writing to motherhood, even birthing.

btw, if you want to check out the other Writing is like... meme responses, you can see them all here (I've added yours to the list. Anita told me about yours.)


Mandie Baxter said...

Thanks. She is a sweet lady! Will for sure check it out. Had never heard of it until I was tagged!

Christine Murray said...

This is a great post. The other way that our WIPs are like our children is that it's ok for us to criticise them, but if someone else does...woah that's hard.

Mandie Baxter said...

That is too true Christine!

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