Saturday, February 18, 2012

Blogs, Babies, and Boot Camp -- Oh My!

Blogging is a little like wanting to be pregnant. Until then, getting pregnant seemed so easy, something that could happen after the first time, even a near miss. But now? Now that you really want to get pregnant, you buy books and count days and take your temperature and learn that that one little lone egg hangs around for only about 48 hours before it feels stood up and stomps off seeing red. That's a bad, bad thing to happen because then you have a month to arm yourself with more information about how nearly impossible it is to get pregnant. You get the countdown going again anyway for the next blind date between Mr. Seed and Miss Fertile Ground and you hope and pray.

So you tweak the look of the blog again, one final time, powder its nose and go live. You tap out 420 words and hit that addictive button that says "Publish" and hold your breath for a comment or a reader or -- whom am I kidding -- any sign of life.



On a hunch, you return home from Walgreen's with a pregnancy test, deposit a little DNA on it and wait for the wand to turn pink. The blind date was a marriage made in heaven. You drop the stick in the sink and jump up and down screaming. But then you think this might be bad for the baby, so you stop and fish the pregnancy test out of the sink to look again at that beautiful damp, pink rectangle. You look in the mirror at your silhouette and palm your flat belly. You look at the stick again and not even your engagement ring made you happier. You whisper-wonder, "I'm pregnant."

Periodically throughout the day, you rush to the computer hoping for a comment. No? What about hits? How many have read it? Six? Six!

You rush to the store and buy three more pregnancy tests. So what if you paid $72 and that the one from three days ago is still on your bathroom sink. You're still not sure, and maybe a chorus of pink sticks will drown out your disbelief. You turn each stick pink, and joy and relief fill your heart. It must be true. Four pregnancy tests, $86 and a week late tell the marvelous, magnificent truth.

You're pregnant indeed. You begin to make your news known, because you finally believe it just a little bit. You're a writer, well, a blogger.

I've been in this stage for two years, ten days, and five hours.

The next phase finds you rushing to the store to buy maternity clothes because you can't wait to look pregnant. It doesn't matter that so far, you've lost -- not gained -- three pounds from morning sickness, and now your normal clothes are starting to hang from your hip bones that protrude from your concave, upset stomach.

I've done that today. I wrote a blog post as if I were a real writer and sent it to the blog for the first writers conference I'm soon to attend. It's next week, and  I'm so excited I can't stand it. So I rushed right through the door to Motherhood Maternity with my anemic writer's craft and my enthusiasm as if what I really have is a big belly full of baby. (Authors call their books babies, don't they?) Motherhood Maternity thought of that, though. They leave little pillows in the dressing room to help these poor, pitiful girls who show up about three months too soon. They stuff them inside the clothes they try on in the dressing room. It makes dreaming of the real thing seem more like reality.

That's me there in the dressing room, the one who gave writers advice at a conference blog for writers. Real writers. Me. What was I thinking when I walked through that door? Thank goodness for small pillows.

But I did get plagiarized once, and I did learn a ton from it. Or at least a few pounds of baby weight, I'm figuring. And now, after I've written enough to be a whole post all by itself, I inviting you over to where I'm so proud to be writing today:

Writers Advance! Boot Camp Conference Blog

I know it's really two whole posts, but come on anyway. Think of it as twins.

4 comments:

  1. this is beautiful! I love the analogy because I've been both... the mom with the multiple pregnancy tests and the blogger checking multiple times a day. Hope your conference is wonderful!

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  2. I'm excited that you are going to the conference. I hope you have a wonderful week. The post about plagiarism was interesting. It's a weird sort of stamp of approval, I guess. It sounded like you handled it so professionally! I just spent a week at a Biblical Counseling Conference and my brain and heart are so packed with gratefulness and an urge to use what I have learned. May next week be the same for you!

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  3. I like the beautiful way you wrote this: clear yet discreet, seasoned with grace as well as joy. And the parallels are certainly not lost on me. :)

    Going over to visit the boot camp blog. Just want to say, before I do... I hope you don't think, like some, that traditionally published authors are "real writers" and you aren't one till you succeed in that path. You are definitely a real writer right now, and as a blogger have a lot to teach traditional writers (a fading trend?) God bless!

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  4. Sylvia, thank you for such a dear comment. I assure you that I don't believe that success as a writer means that you have a traditional publisher. On one hand I would love to earn at least part of a living doing this that I love. I cannot lie. But it is also true that I love right where I am and want to go only where God leads me with all this. There is joy in the journey, and I don't want to miss that, wherever it leads.

    What a blessing you are today, Sylvia. Thank you for being so encouraging. That's what I lack least I think. Confidence.

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