A mother’s heart has a great capacity for love, joy, pride, sadness, and anger (among other things). Our hearts swell with pride at our children’s accomplishments, we cry with joy when they are successful, we cry with sadness when they are lonely, and we rage when they are mistreated or left out. We feel what they feel. I know, because the last two weeks have stuffed this mother’s heart with so many emotions, I am spilling over!
Even if we don’t have physical children, writers are both maternal and paternal in their quest to birth a story. We “date” with story ideas, trying them out, seeing what characters are a good fit and what plot lines would make for a great future. We get “engaged” with the story, committed to laying out a life plan for our story, developing the plot, fleshing it out. We get to know the characters inside and out, drawing out their deepest desires and needs.
Then comes the marriage. We take the plunge and fill the blank, white pages with black letters. For some, this is the blissful “honeymoon” stage – fun, exciting, floating along in euphoria at getting words down on paper. For others, this is the difficult “first year”…the time where you struggle to write that first draft. Every step is painful, with agony over every word.
But then you write “The End” and your baby is born. You are proud, and you should be! But then comes the difficult part of teaching your child. You correct your grammar mistakes, you add description, and delete unnecessary words. You shape your “child”, you nurture it, and you turn it into a book that will make you proud and hopefully one day sit on a bookshelf in your library. (A personal dream of mine!)
It’s the heart of a nurturer…like a mother…that gives a book depth. It is being able to get deep into your character’s minds and hearts, feeling their joy, their pain, their hope, and their hurt. You must take them on a journey and let them grow. You let them fall, and pick them back up again. You guide them along the way and in the end, they can stand on their own. Your heart swells with the growth of your characters and you are proud to show them off.
And hopefully one day you will be able to pull out your “pictures” (book) and show your friends….and who knows, maybe they will ask you to autograph it!