Egg By Egg
I've been saying it for a while. I have a parakeet who thinks she's a chicken. Perhaps you scoffed at this but it's true. That's her in the picture with one of the many egg she has laid. It all started about ten months ago and at first I thought it was just some weird thing birds did. Of course there is nothing viable in the egg what with no daddy bird around, at least that I know of, unless there is some don juan bird sneaking in at night but the likelihood of that is silly. So my bird is producing these eggs all by herself. It really is pretty pathetic. She is so proud of herself. She lays her egg and tells me all about it then jumps down onto the floor of her cage and sits on it and cuddles it and gently tucks it under her wing until I reach my big old fat hand in there and snatch it and toss it in the garbage. Yikes. But, I have no choice. It's just not a ready for prime time egg.
When this first started happening I did a little research and discovered that it's pretty normal but it was only supposed to last for a season, a short while. My crazy bird has been laying eggs regularly for almost a year now. Imagine that, she's laid somewhere around 40 eggs and none of them produced a chick for her to care for. Well, being a writer and all I decided to draw the obvious writerly analogy between writing and non-viable egg-laying. It happens.
I suppose I've laid approximately seven million non-viable eggs over the past few years. Word by word, egg by egg I've persisted pretty much everyday writing words that I loved and tucked under my wing and cared for until some giant fickle finger of fate came along and flicked it away. My eggs, like Bird's, did not have anything inside that was ready for prime time. Oh, the shell was there, they looked nice, even sounded nice but the guts, the truth, the heart of the matter was missing. But I didn't stop producing. I had too. Just like Bird. She can't help it right now. They're inside of her, she has to get them out. Okay, that's gross but you get the concept.
Non-viable egg-laying is a lot like writing. You put your words out there, they get rejected but you keep laying more because one day, one wonderful day an editor is going to come along who sees the potential and takes you and your egg under her wing and cares for it and you, nurturing, loving and working really really hard to produce a beautiful new bird that will soar to to the top of Best-Seller lists. Keep those eggs coming.