Day 36

Let's talk conception. Yeah, you heard me right, and I don't mean conception as in ideas or novels or anything writing related. I mean reproduction.

OK, actually I do want to talk about ideas, novel writing, publishing, etc. but I think it's interesting how getting published is rather like trying to conceive. Yes, reproduction (or the act of reproduction, at the very least) has been on my mind lately (we're all adults here, so get real), but the more I think about it, the more I realize there's a great parallel here.

Think about it. Publishing is kind of like trying to get pregnant. Now not that I have ever tried to get pregnant, even if I wanted to (that just comes off completely wrong, doesn't it?). But look, even if conception seems very easy for some couples, I bet it's not always that way, and not without some "trying." Getting pregnant on just one occasion is more likely to happen in fiction than in real life. Not that it can't happen, just as someone may really hit the publishing jackpot on first try. It does happen, but it's not that common.

So, it does take a lot of practice. A lot of trying. And it's really fun. Let's face it, sex is fun. It's only when you actually try to have a baby and it continues to fail that you feel frustrated and stressed out. "What are we doing wrong?" "What is wrong with me/us?"

Such frustration is not uncommon among writers.

Studies show that the chance of conception is only 20% even during ovulation. And "ovulation" means the right time, the right place. Now try to catch the right agent/publisher at the right time, at the right place, and you can see that the odds are not really that much better.

Then it takes a LOT of sperm, I mean, millions and millions to make this work. Think of these little buggers as the millions of words you have ever written, and you will ever write in the future. It takes a lot of words to make a masterpiece.

And not every word or piece of work is created equal. Some are great swimmers, dashing in a straight line, ready to be the hero. Some barely move. Some are just deadbeats. Deformed. Incomplete. In fact, up to 40% immotility and 85% abnormal morphology are still considered "normal" fertility. That's a pretty high rate of FAIL. So, imagine all the stories you have ever written. Suddenly it doesn't sound so bad.

Because ALL IT TAKES IS ONE. (it may not even be the best swimmer)

And lots of "doing it."

So have fun.

100 words, 16500 words total
329 days and 169000 words to go


Benjamin Solah said…
I love the analogy; it's cute, very fitting and oh so true. it lets my wander to thinking about the finer things in life.
Jenny Greenleaf said…
This is a very interesting take! Now, for those who cannot conceive, adoption is an option. How does that fit into the analogy? ::winks::
Ray Wong said…
co-authoring? Wait... that sounds more like surrogacy. Oh, I know, adoption would be like ghost writing!

Certainly you're not suggesting plagiarism (I would equate that to stealing someone's baby), Jen? :)
Jenny Greenleaf said…
Ghost writing sounds right to me -- nope, not suggesting plagiarism at all! LOL Though, I can see where that analogy would fit as well . . . the new advice would have to read: don't plagiarize (be a baby stealer)!

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