This blog was featured on 07/17/2017
Written by
Kaye Curren
July 2017
Written by
Kaye Curren
July 2017

There’s something about new birth that instructs writers. Two days ago, I got news my daughter was in labor with my first grandchild. I surprised myself. I thought I would sit and quietly reflect on her birth experience and make comparisons to my birthing of her. Instead, I went into a tailspin. Not because she was too far away for me to be there, but because I was having writer’s block.

I became unsettled. Nothing interested me. I was bored out of my tree and restless -- like a birthing mother in transition. By definition, “Transition…is the calm before the pushing stage. It is here a mother’s focus might falter. Symptoms include disorientation, loss of resolve, irritability.” (Giving Birth

That’s how I felt during my daughter’s birth. In fact, that’s how I often feel when I sit down to write.

 I wanted to revise a chapter of a memoir I was working on but I could not get started. I was nervous about submitting a new essay. What if it failed? As an escape from my fears, I watched talk shows on YouTube – my typical escape. Lack of focus. Loss of resolve.

Then I had to get out of the house. I circled around the market, then the dollar store. I rushed to the library and picked up books I would never read.

Hunger pangs led me to Bob Evans to eat roast beef and potatoes, biscuits, and a chocolate sundae after eight weeks of a 20-carbs a day Atkins regime. I didn’t feel a bit guilty, just a little manic. I did snap at the waitress to bring me the check.  Disorientation. Irritability.

At first, I thought I was fretting over not being there to help with my grandchild’s birth. But no, that didn’t seem to bother me that much. My son-in-law was keeping me well informed electronically almost as if I were there. And all was going perfectly.

Driving home, I realized my writing is birthing. My writing produces new life. Our creative writing projects start with seeds. They germinate. They begin to grow and fill out. Growing pains and cravings follow with the anxiety that our babies may never come to term when we have sweated our last drop. Unlike the nurturing of a precious child, we want to dump our drafts. We do dump them. Then we pull them out again. Hopefully, they finally see life.

Get birthing, I said to myself.

While my daughter pushed that baby out, I sat down and finished a blog post, edited a troublesome chapter of my memoir, and started a new essay about becoming a grandmother. The stages of birthing were evident in every word and every sentence.

Though my child-rearing days are over, my birthing is not – the birthing of ideas, of inspiration, and connecting with others.  I am a writer.


“Writing is Birthing” was originally published on Literary Mama April 10, 2017

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