Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
After Page One: Waiting

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A guest post to motivate, encourage, and inspire


The Labor of Writing


Five days before my daughter’s due date, I went to what I hoped would be my last prenatal appointment. I was under the false impression that since my son had been born two weeks early, she would arrive even earlier. I lay with my swollen feet up in the stirrups anxiously awaiting the OB’s verdict. She lifted her blonde head from the dark abyss of my nether region and grinned.

“You are 2cm dilated and 75% effaced,” she declared. “It should be any day now.”

I let out a long sigh. “It feels like she’s never going to come out!”

My OB smiled sympathetically. “Don’t worry, she will when she’s ready.”

I thought of her words recently while I was getting ready for bed. I saw myself in the mirror with a tube of toothpaste in my hand and a calm look on my face. It was a rare moment of stillness in my day compared to the earlier rushing around of preparing breakfast, acting as chauffeur, making lunch, reading books, cooking dinner and giving baths. Rushing has become my way of life as a mom. It is the only way I can ensure my family has clean clothes to wear and food to eat.

As a writer, however, rushing is the one thing I cannot do. Believe me, I have tried. As soon as I kiss my children goodbye in the morning, I rush to my laptop as the countdown starts. I have a few hours a week set aside for writing and I don’t like to waste a second of them. Sometimes the creative juices start flowing as soon as my fingers touch the keyboard; other times, I alternate between staring at a blank document, Facebook, and the clock. No matter how much I want to write, I cannot force the words to come out any more than I could have forced my daughter to be born.

I have come to accept the fact that good writing is the product of patience. Ideas take time to develop in the deep places of my soul. During days when my inspiration seems to stall, I remind myself to wait. For when the words do come, whether it be in line at the grocery store or when I’m folding laundry, they tend to burst out quickly, just like my daughter did.

Despite two weeks of strong, yet inconsistent contractions, she chose to arrive on her due date. An hour after we got to the hospital, and three pushes later, she burst forth with pink, wrinkled skin and a loud cry. Relief and exhilaration washed over me when I saw the fruit of my labor, my precious daughter, born of sweat, blood and tears.

Such is the labor of writing. Words cannot be rushed. They will come when they are ready. And when they do emerge, they will have been worth waiting for.


Join our After Page One series.  We’re looking for 300 to 500-word guest posts that motivate, inspire, and encourage other mama-writers, and we’d love to feature YOUR thoughts about getting started, getting back to a writing project, integrating writing with motherhood, reading, or having a positive attitude.   The list is endless, but here are some questions that might help you get started. We’ll publish a short bio at the bottom of your post so readers can learn more about you and your projects.


Liwen Y. Ho is a full time wife and mom of two and a part time writer. She is the author of her first picture book, A Rainbow of Nine Colors, published by Her work has appeared on various online publications and is forthcoming in Women’s Memoirs Memories of Winter anthology. Read more on her blog: or on her Facebook page:

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