Editing So You Are… Pregnant! has been technically challenging (links are a one way ticket to la la land and not the one with A-listers fox trotting about), but reliving it over and over and over has been the hardest part of this entire process. It has sent me twisty quite a few times.
On January 15th 2018 I made the choice to replace drinking with writing. I vented and purged my story onto the page and had some big breakthroughs. By releasing my tale I was able to process a lot of mucky crap I’d been harbouring relating to those periods. I’d been carrying them for a decade and a bit, or more, or less and had no idea of the heaviness they had created within me.
It was all very healthy, release-y and the person I was after felt lighter, powerful, in control and excited about the possibilities of life and my rediscovered craft.
However, trying to constantly separate from the emotions of that time whilst re-reading and re-reading and re-reading morphed from tricky into ticky rather quicky.
I’m now on THE LAST FCKING EDIT in November 2019 and if I was to reflect on how I’ve been coping and processing everything – the answer is – not well. Not at all. That lighter, powerful, in control and enthusiastically refreshed writer woman has packed up and pissed off on a long, long vacay. Probably to some tropical island far away from all the doubty, negative shit-talk that seems to have replaced her world-conquering vibes.
I can see how some authors might take decades to finish their work, particularly if it is semi self-memoirish like mine. Thankfully, my ten year period consisted of zero creative blocks because I was busy suppressing a books worth way down deep in the cockles.
The writing took a lot less time.
The shoddy editing, however took wayyyyyy longer than predicted.
I tried to edit like a robot. I really did. But when your visualisation skills transport you back to the exact moment – of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling everything – things get very overthinky rather rapidly.
Add real life as well as the never ending hovering doubts of not knowing if the book will be remotely successful – and it’s head fCk central in down town broken brain world.
Hopefully I’ll come up with some far more efficient methods on the next round and fingers crossed by then I’ll fully believe in what I’m doing.
For now – here are some of my So You Are… Pregnant! sideshow stoppers. These nuggets certainly halted my frazzled freight train a few times.
They step aside for the angel Midwives who gently lift up the gown to do their thing. “Time to push, lovey. Come on now. We’ll be with you all the way,” Brighid’s voice is the guiding sound you follow when everything seems like an out-of-body experience. The mere presence of Juliette is like a soft bed of flowers that calmly supports your tired, weary body. They guide you in the most tender, warm manner and yet manage to retain your focus. "I don’t think I can do it,” you whimper. “Oh yes you can, honey,” says Brighid. “Of course you can,” Juliette whispers and weaves the wayward strands of hair behind your ear. Every moment with them is a gift and even though the pain is bloody strong, you feel safe in the care of these two exceptional and amazing women. They never stop believing in you. Right until the very end they give everything of themselves and you will never, ever forget their selfless love and encouragement for someone they didn’t even know.
…my breath disappears every time I read this passage. It comes off the back of a fairly funny scene, is quite sudden and is still so very real to me. Every time I return to that space it’s like I never left. They are all there, exactly as they were – with the love, the excitement, the exhaustion, the fear, the unknown and unexpected.
Normally the power of Mum kisses solves everything. She wipes your tears. She squeezes you tight. Your hero. Your source of strength and go-to for so many of life’s booboo’s, always with an empathetic ear and a gentle nudge when you’ve lost your way. You wish you could be her happy little shadow, safe at her side this one last time. “You can do it, darling. I believe in you,” she whispers through her own tears and you both sob. This is one booboo she can’t help fix.
Another suckfest somehow always read first day of my period. This is word for word. I can hear her. I can sense all of that love and turmoil and desperation and disappointment that she can’t be there, she can’t help me, she can’t take away the pain, she can’t solve the problem. I feel her angst and her love. It’s beautiful… and it does my head in EVERY TIME!!!
Suddenly, a beautifully calm aura fills the room. You turn to the doorway and cry some more. This is a happy cry. It’s Bestie. You’re 99% sure she’s got a cape on. It’s blue with her favourite frangipanis and she seems more kick-arse powerful than normal. “Oh, thank fCk,” you whisper, knowing she can hear your relief with her super senses. Head on over for some nurturing vibes and safety.
A literal breath-taker. For a best friend, I probably keep my problems and woes from her the most these days. Just one whiff from either of us that the other is in an iota of pain & it’s tears and flood after flood of pent up shit we’ve held at bay in front of others, suddenly pissing out uncontrollably all over the show. She was my lantern during this period and I am in awe of her every time she is on the page.
Very few, if any, have seen you as dark and down as this, though you’ve been here plenty of times before – crouched on shower floors, weeping silently into pillows, driving down long, isolated roads losing it, but never with an audience. And never in front of your family. Today you hide nothing and those normally shielded have front row seats to this sad, hopeless, foreign version of seemingly always sunny you. That you would be mortified by your behaviour. This you feels nothing. Neither you has control over any of it.
This is a re-read/re-live one that is draining and surprising whenever I stumble across it. There’s a lot of times during the writing process I would go back to edit and have no recollection of typing the words. Which is cool when the writing feels real and this bit was very reflective of my truth at that time.
This was added later on. I’d been fixated on that one scene and it was one of the first that I vividly recalled because my behaviour was a shock to me. I had nothing. See this post for more details on how some Kristen Stewart scenes affected me quite heavily.
Another suckfest somehow always read first day of my period. This is word for word. I can hear her. I can sense all of that love and turmoil and desperation and disappointment that she can't be there, she can't help me, she can't take away the pain, she can't solve the problem. I feel her angst and her love. It's beautiful... and it does my head in EVERY TIME!!!