On How Writing a Novel is Similar to Being Fed as a 9-Month Old Baby

When baby boy was 9 months old, it was awesome, as well as more work. You think things should get a little easier once your baby starts sleeping longer – which might be true. I wouldn’t know, since my baby is one of the guys who wakes up every few hours singing “Feed Me, Momma!” in a sing-song fashion reminiscent of a cult-classic movie.

This is pretty much what my baby sounds like. Well, substitute “milk” for “human.”

But baby boy’s not only breastfeeding – he is also eating baby food (and now, finger foods!). This process has gotten increasingly difficult, which brings about the parallels alluded to in my title.

It begins with a hunger, gnawing at your insides. The baby knows he needs to get food in his stomach, asap. The writer knows she needs to find time to sit before a computer and allow her thoughts to pour onto the Yarny page*.

You're inspired. This is going to be AWESOME!

You’re inspired. This is going to be AWESOME!

But actually taking the time to feed your hunger is another story. The baby locks his legs and screams in frustration as you try to sit his small form in his high chair. Why can’t you just whip out your boobs and feed him NOW?! The writer sits down before the computer, only to realize – she’s hungry! She forgot to make coffee! She can’t write without CHOCOLATE**.

& the computer chair sits, empty, waiting...

& the computer chair sits, empty, waiting…

It seems like everything is in order… The baby has been seated and strapped in like the tiny, hungry lunatic he is. It is time to commence feeding. As the spoon approaches his open mouth, he decides he wants to feed himself, and snatches the spoon from his parent. In this process, most of the food on the spoon falls on the floor before he can shove the spoon in his mouth. He refuses to let go of his Spiderman-strong grip on the spoon, and is incensed that food does not miraculously re-appear on the silverware. He is hungry! The writer has finally stacked a fair amount of snackage in the vicinity of her computer, and opened her Yarny page. She sits, staring at the page for a second. Then she opens her Facebook page. She flips back to the blank Yarny page. It is still blank. She decides reading Gawker might inspire her again. It does not. She types the first two words of a sentence before checking her e-mail. She flips back to the Yarny page. It is mostly blank, and now she needs to leave for her doctor’s appointment. Baby and writer scream in rage. WHY ISN’T THIS WORKING?!

The page remains enrageingly blank

The page remains enragingly blank

Eventually, the baby learns better (or the parent is able to wrench the spoon from his strong grasp). The writer has the occasional burst of inspiration where everything works, and she manages to type out a few pages. These bursts are often replaced with bouts of depression as the writer is certain that her work is no good. Maybe, one day, the novel will be done.

Somewhere over the rainbow, my novel is done...

Somewhere over the rainbow, my novel is done…

*This is the writing site I use. I like that it automatically saves, and is accessible from any computer. I am also, however, welcome to suggestions – do you utilize a different and/or better site?

**As you can see, my mind kind of has one track – food & drink are desired constantly. Thank goodness my boyfriend is a cook!


2 thoughts on “On How Writing a Novel is Similar to Being Fed as a 9-Month Old Baby

  1. OMG you hit the nail on its tiny head! Made me laugh and feel so much better when I’ve nailed my butt to the chair and am facing that blinkety cursor! d:) (Thank you for visiting pendrifter!) d:)

  2. Thank you! I’m glad you liked it. & remember, regardless of how frustrating your writing session gets, it does not end with food, and someone wiping sticky food puree off of you with a damp cloth. 😉

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