Tomorrow is the launch of my new book, Surviving Childlessness. And it feels like I’m birthing a baby. (It’s possible to give birth, even when you are childless.)
This is not the only time I have felt like I have birthed something other than a biological child. When my first book was published, I felt the same way. To a lesser extent, each song and blog I publish feels that way too. There is a sense of release, of giving a piece of myself away to others.
So as tomorrow’s book launch looms large, I feel my inner expectation growing.
As tomorrow’s book launch looms large, I feel my inner expectation growing.
It occurs to me there are many other things we can birth, besides children. You can, for example, birth a new business. I have childless friends who have started a new business venture, putting their skills and training on the line. And some of them are making a real go of it.
You can birth a church or a new ministry. Maybe you have an idea for a church initiative. You can see a gap or need in the church, and you have an idea for how to meet that need. Maybe you have taken a leap of faith with that idea. I have friends who have done just that.
You can birth a new house or renovation. I know how long it can take to rip up a kitchen or bathroom and start again. I also know about the pain and perils of building a new house. And I know the joy of completion, of seeing bricks and mortar come together just as you imagined it.
You can birth a painting or piece of art. Perhaps you have an image in your mind, something you just can’t shake. Perhaps, when you go outside, you see the artistic and photographic possibilities of the street where you live, of your local park, of sunrises and sunsets. And you just have to re-create it.
Perhaps you have an image in your mind, something you just can’t shake.
You can birth a film or play or script. There is a message inside you, a story that must be told, and you can visualise how people and sets and scenery could come together to tell that story. For you, the best way to express yourself would be to capture that story with imagery.
You can birth a cause. You can develop new means and methods for fighting or championing a cause close to your heart. Maybe you are passionate about animal rights, or child slavery, or the preservation of your local bushland. You can gather people to help raise the profile of these issues. You can be a champion.
There are many ways to give birth without having children. (Good news for those of us who are childless). I would like to encourage you to do just that. That’s what I did. And now I am about to give birth to my second book.
Listen to that little voice inside, that idea that nudges you and won’t go away.
Listen to that little voice inside, that idea that nudges you and keeps you up at night and won’t go away. There might be something worthwhile and unique about it. There might be real possibilities in your idea, a way of helping others or making a difference or leaving a legacy in this world.
You might birth something wonderful.
Have you ever given birth to something that wasn’t a child? How did you do it? Do you have an idea for creating or birthing something unique, something the world does not yet have? Share your story. Let’s have a countercultural conversation.