Thoughts of a Pregnant Writer

Photo credit: Sally Anderson

Photo credit: Sally Anderson

Today marks my 38th week of pregnancy. My baby has been moving a lot, making it hard for me to write. Pregnancy has been a tough journey on many levels, and it also affected my writing habits. Last year, I wrote my first novel and completed my first draft in December 2018, the month I discovered I was pregnant.

I felt proud, and I knew that I wanted to let the manuscript rest for a couple of months—as Stephen King suggests in his book “On Writing.” Even if I had wanted to work on it, my nausea would have prevented me from doing so. I spent the first months of 2019 in bed with morning sickness—or I should say “all-day sickness.”

During this time, I kept on working as a freelance writer. Luckily, after a light breakfast, I had a 2-hour window in which my nausea gave me a break, and I could finish at least one article. It was challenging, but I wanted to keep on writing and make some money. I was miserable, but at least I found a balance for the time being.

When I went back to my novel, in March 2019, I was excited because I was starting to feel better. I re-read it all and started the editing process. I found many little things to fix, but overall, I was satisfied with the plot, characters, and main story arcs. I worked during the week, and I dedicated time to the editing of my novel during the weekend.

I knew I didn’t have much time left to work on the novel before the arrival of my baby, so I gave myself some deadlines. I did a couple of rounds of self-editing. Then, I sent the novel to beta-readers, and I self-edited again after receiving feedback. Finally, I gave the novel to a professional editor, and by June I was ready to send the pitch to agents.

I sent my work into the world, hoping that it resonates with someone who can help me get published. And if I don’t find an agent, I will submit to smaller and independent publishing houses later. I promised myself that I will find a home for my novel—and I will.

I feel good with myself because I did what I could with the time I had.

It has been tough to write while pregnant. Even though nausea subsidized after the first couple of months, I have never experienced a surge of energy or the pregnancy glow that many women talk about. I was able to work in the morning and got really tired in the afternoon. I stopped working last week, and this is the first time that I try to process what happened to my writing habits and creativity.

Every time I try to focus on something that requires my full attention, I feel nausea coming back. I know that the only way to become a better writer is to keep on reading and writing, but what do I do when my body and mind are asking me to stop and rest? Am I losing my writing skills and creativity? I know this is my fear talking, and even though I’m able to go back to a positive view of my writing career, these questions remain stuck in the corner of my mind.

When I told my friend (and spiritual mother), which is also the talented photographer who took the photo above, that I was afraid of losing my creativity, she told me:

“You’re creating life, and this is the most creative period you will ever experience in your life.”

When I get worried about my writing career, I think about these words—and I put my trust in the Universe. I trust that my creativity will come back with a renewed force and freshness. I trust that motherhood will bring me a new perspective on life and will make me a better writer.