I’ve been thinking about birth lately. There is a point at which a labor outgrows everything you know, everything you read and hear and plan for. It is a frightening space for the woman involved. It is a space of surrender. It is also the place at which everything about you as a person shines through.
It is a place where having someone there who can look you in the eye and say I believe in you and I know you can do this can be the difference between continuing on in fear, or continuing on in faith.
I’ve accepted that support, gratefully, from other people during my own births. I’ve provided that support to other women. It is what we need in birth, and it is what we need in life.
Writers need it too. As I sit here, waiting at the darkest point of the year, when the pines see more of the sun than I do, I’m thinking about what that means, that voice that says I believe in you. I’m thinking about all the times when it feels like the writing is going nowhere, or the story feels too hard to tell, or the novel wants to be written but you know that you may be writing it for yourself alone.
Sometimes it just feels too big to do. Sometimes you want to walk away from it, but everything inside you insists you continue. You skitter around it like a horse crossing water, eyes rolling, convinced it is too deep.
If you’re lucky, there will be a voice coming from across the water. I believe in you, it will say. You can do this.
Listen to it.