Giving birth to words

Writing often strikes me as rather like having kids.

(Not that I’ve ever had kids, but being a doctor does give you a vague idea.)

It starts with you conceiving these seeds of ephemeral ideas that drop into your mind.

You carry them around within you for days, sometimes for weeks and months.

When the time feels right, you labour over them, looking for just the right words to embody your thoughts and contain the life the ideas had when you carried them within. You know how cold and unresponsive the world can be, and you want your words strong enough to survive, to not end up dead on arrival.

So you labour and finally they’re ready: your thoughts delivered into the world via words.

Imagine then, hearing others mocking your precious words, calling them…

Rubbish. Trash. Nonsense.

It’s like someone calling your child dumb, and ignoring all their potential. That’s not what you want to hear after all your labour. Not that anyone cares what you want to hear. It doesn’t always happen, thankfully, but sometimes it does, and when it does, it hurts.

Not that anyone cares what you want to hear.

Still, that’s life, isn’t it? You can’t protect your children forever. All you can do is raise them the best you can and pray they work out great.

Nor can you protect your words, at all. Just write them the best you can.

Then pray they work out great.

And so with every idea we labour to birth into the world, in words or song or image — and even in business. Just keep putting your work out there, without wasting new energy on trying to shape how others respond to it.

Published by Doc Ayomide

I’m a medical doctor with specialty training in psychiatry, and I love thinking and writing about what it means to be human.

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