How Falling Pregnant Helped My Writing Career
Posted on November 19, 2015
Feature image from ENTREPRENEUR
“The idea that motherhood is inherently somehow a threat to creativity is just absurd.” TELEGRAPH
As a 29 year old, heterosexual, female, freelance writer currently working on my first piece of long-form creative fiction, I didn’t expect falling pregnant to come as such a boost to my writing career. While studying Creative Arts at Sydney University my lecturers weren’t shy about stating that if I wanted a successful career in the arts – I should NEVER have Children!
People warned me. Many people told me to wait.
Some friends with kids complained about the slump in their career and the problems they’ve had finding time to write. I had a good friend actually tell me I had, ‘ruined my life.’ But falling pregnant hasn’t ruined my life or my work, in fact, it’s been quite the opposite.
I have a due date. It’s locked in. I now have a deadline for when there will be a new person arriving into our world. I want to make that world is as excellent as possible. Before I fell pregnant I worried such an impending date would fill me with fear, stress and anxiety about the end of my life.
Knowing a baby is coming has been incredibly motivating to get my work organised and finished. There are a lot of projects I’ve been dragging around for a while that I need to get on top of.
Since finding out I was pregnant, I have edited and published the eBook HOW TO HEAL A BRUISE, a project I had been slowly working on for 6 months. I could have dragged out the editing for another 6 months or perhaps never finished it…
I am about to be someone’s mother.
Soon there will be a little person looking up to me, copying my actions and turning to me for help in understanding the world. Children absorb everything from their surroundings and I’m conscious of that.
Now I am pregnant, I feel very aware of my life and the world our child will be born into. What kind of life do I want for our child and what kind of mother do I want to be? Do I want to be the kind of mother who stops writing after she has a baby? No. If my child is a female, what message would I be sending her, if I act as though mothers don’t deserve to pursue their passion? And if I have a little boy… even worse!
“…daughters of working mothers enjoy better careers, higher pay and more equal relationships than those raised by stay-at-home mothers.” GUARDIAN
Now more than ever, I feel the importance of role modeling the kind of behaviour I want my children to follow. This includes finishing what I start, working hard for what I want, following my dreams and living a life full of passion.
In the time before my baby comes, I am using my pregnancy to do all these things. I’m writing every day, I’m working hard on promoting the projects I’m proud of. I’m making plans for after the baby is born and I’m organising support now.
I’m not saying we should all have kids.
I am all for the choice. I love that we are able to all live differently. While many writers chose not to have children, I hope their choices were not based on the misconception that a child or pregnancy will ruin their creative career. I hope writers choosing not to have kids are doing so because it simply isn’t for them, like these legends FAMOUS WOMEN on Childlessness.
I am so surprised by how beneficial being pregnant has been for my writing career. I’ve only ever heard it will ruin my writing life, destroy my hopes for the future and I will end up gassing myself in the oven like Sylvia Plath.
Turns out, that isn’t true!