Conversation between my sister and me:
Jenni: So, how’s the book coming?
Me: Oh, it’s finally kind of coming together. I think it will be done–like all the way done–by the end of the summer. I can’t describe to you how difficult this process is though.
Jenni: Um, I can imagine. With ADD, getting a novel into perfect form is probably like trying to climb a mountain with chopped off feet. And no rope. And two blind eyes.
Me: Exactly. It’s breathtakingly difficult. It’s funny though, because most authors talk about the editing phase like it’s no big deal. Like in passing they’re like “and then I rewrite my novels four or five times to work out the kinks, and the voila! I’m done!”
Me: Yes. It’s infuriating. For me this first re-write has absolutely been the most difficult part of the process, and maybe the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life which is why it’s taken years. Writing the meat of the book was easy. This? Is HARD. It’s like writing the book was allowing a baby to gestate inside me for nine months and editing it and getting it perfect is like trying to push it through my creative vagina.
Jenni: Wait, you have a creative vagina?
Me: Yes. And currently I am pushing a novel through it. And I’m feeling the Ring of Fire. And there is tearing. And I’ve been in labor for a really long time. And I can’t wait to get this baby out of me.
Jenni: Got it. So, just what does coitus look like for a creative vagina?
Me: A lot like conversation. Intellectual intercourse, if you will.
Jenni: I see.
Me: Actually, in the case of my book, I would have to say the moment of conception was while I was sitting in a grad school course on child therapy with a guest lecturer who was a lady in her 70’s. Suddenly, the idea for my book hit me, and thus a creative zygote was brought into existence.
Jenni: So what you’re saying is that you got knocked up by a gray-haired lady in grad school.
Me: Exactly. And now I’m pushing our book-baby through my creative vagina. And it hurts.
Jenni: Oddly, this is actually a really good metaphor. I totally get what you are saying.
Me: Wait, so you aren’t mad at me that I compared finishing a book to being in labor and pushing a baby through a tearing vagina?
Jenni: No way. I would be horrified if you thought that. I frequently hate on my own sex for that kind of thing.
Me: Oh? What do you mean?
Jenni: Like all those girls who are like “Oh no you di-iiiin’t just compare something to giving birth.” I hate that. I think it’s petty and short-sighted and not empathetic.
Me: But, isn’t it like one of the hardest things ever?
Jenni: Absolutely. I’ve done it twice. Once without meds. But it’s not like I think it’s the only hard thing that can happen to a person. I think that comparing finishing a novel with ADD to pushing a baby through a vagina is an apt metaphor, not on affront on women.
Me: I always knew I loved you.
Jenni: Listen, I love being a woman. But sometimes we are ridiculous and very territorial over our labor pains. That’s all I’m saying.
Me: I’m pretty sure I’m going to put this conversation on my blog.
Jenni: That’s fine. Just so long as you emphasize that I am not offended by what you were saying about your creative vagina. Because if people got the impression I was that type of woman, that would offend me.
And thus, I successfully compared finishing my book to pushing a baby out of my tearing creative vagina, which then transformed into a conversation in which my sister hated on her sex and I didn’t even get in trouble.
Aaaall in a day’s work.
VERY IMPORTANT UPDATE (4-27)
Naturally I’m reading Jenny Lawson’s new book “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” and naturally I love it because it is incredibly hilarious. However *spoiler alert* I just got to the part where she talks about telling her boss that she had a book inside her and that she needed to get it out, maybe through her vagina. I want to clarify that I HADN’T READ THAT PART WHEN I HAD THIS CONVERSATION WITH MY SISTER. NOR WHEN I WROTE THIS POST.
Of course, nobody needs to believe me.
But I know, deep within my creative vagina, that I speak the truth. And the truth will set me free.
Also, you should probably buy her book immediately.