Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How Much Do You Talk About Your Writing? #IWSG

Another post for #IWSG Wednesday! Please check out Alex's website about it here: IWSG Blog.

A few years ago, a group like-minded friends and I were talking about our writing. One of my friends, I'll call her Jane, had a bite from an agent on her story. When we asked her what her new story was about she only said, "I'm superstitious about giving too much away. I'll tell you when/if it gets published." Years later, I saw that a story of hers is going to be published, but because she remains mum about what it is about I don't know if it is the one from years ago or a new one. I respect her wishes and we find that there are still things to talk about: our writing process, editing, blogging/advertising your work, our characters antics and so on.

On the flip side, I have a friend who will tell you what she is writing and is very good about leading you into her social media, getting you hooked, then once her story is self published/on an e-reading site you are invested. It could be months of her talking about it. She may call me up and asked me to beta-read, or ask what I think of a cover she designed. I am in awe at how comfortable (she seems) in putting her work out there before it's really out there. She has always had the ability to put herself out there and is not shy about asking someone for help.

I fall somewhere in the middle. Writing is personal to me and I have a core group of writing/blogging friends I am comfortable talking about my work in progress (WIP) with other writers. I will tell others the summary of what I am writing, the title, how long I've been working on it, but only if they ask. Sometimes, I'll even ask my kids for a synonym or good fantasy name for something. However, neither them nor my husband has read anything that is currently a WIP. I only have one short story out there and while I have the book on my shelf, I don't know if they have read it. I don't need their approval but am afraid of what I'd feel like if they say "it's okay" or "I didn't really get it." (Hm, so maybe I do need their approval?)  So, I operate under the radar, they know I'm writing, they may know the genre but that is about it. I have a Facebook page where I will write posts within the subject area of writing, and obviously this blog page, but this is as public as I get with a work in progress.  I am working on it. I know in order for people to become invested in your work and WANT to read it, once it's available, you need to hook them. And you can't do it too early; you can't say, "I have a wonderful story about ____ coming, but not until next May!"

I'd like to know how much you talk about your writing/current WIP? While you are creating your story, do you share with a select few, like my friend "Jane"? Would you love to gather everyone around and discuss your characters endlessly? Are you comfortable advertising your work and characters AS you are writing the story, like my other friend?


  1. I've read that if you talk too much about your work-in-progress it may kill your drive to actually get the thing written. But in my own life I fluctuate. Sometimes I tell all, and other times I keep it all to myself. I'm still not sure which way works better for me, but I kind of think sharing helps keep me encouraged.

    1. I can understand how talking it out may help kill your drive; I never thought if it that way before. I think having the people you are talking to ask for more, after you give them a taste of your story, would encourage anyone!

  2. I have plenty of friends who will ask how the writing's going, and I'll tell them without giving specifics, because they never ask. When I need to talk about something I'm struggling with or excited about, I talk to my writer's group or to my bf, who copy edits my work. I never share actual writing from my WIP unless I really concerned about something and need to know if it works.

    As for talking about it online, I'll say what I'm working on but keep it vague. Since I don't have anything published yet, it's much too early for me to seriously promote it. Your friend sounds like quite the marketer, though! :)

  3. Holli, I am the same way! Maybe if I had multiple books out and was comfortable with how I was as a writer, I could talk more about the current WIP.

  4. For my novels, I don't talk about them much, unless I'm trying to work through a plot or character issue. There are too many details that may change. Like one time, a deity saves this character. Then I change it to an evil ancestral spirit. My husband kind of looks at me sidelong and says, "tell me when you've made up your mind." Or he'll say, "It should be a midget. In a pink tutu." You know, helpful stuff.

    But my smaller works, I'm constantly talking, asking, brainstorming with him or my sis-in-law. I don't bring it up with my writing friends, because they've got their own stories they're working on. I talk about generalities, but nothing specific. Unless I'm looking for a critique, then I let them read it.

    All-in-all, it depends on the stage for me.


  5. I'm sort of in between the middle and the silent writer. I am currently on my fourth novel (3rd in my mystery series) and hubby was asking a lot of questions. I usually don't tell him much because he's my first reader and I like to get an unbiased opinion. This time I found myself telling him who the killer/killers was/were and stopped short. LOL!

  6. Great post, Heather! Personally, I feel mum writer will have a heck of a time marketing herself/himself by keeping secret. If they are so used to being secretive, how much more difficult it will be to have to PUSH it!

    You know me, I am very much like your friend. I love sharing my book ideas (though I am cautious with whom I share my hatchlings!) as well as my projects and progress. It gives others courage and support to see a person so open and supportive. :)


  7. PS: mum writers drive me nuts--because they are so tight-lipped from mentoring you as well. :P

  8. I don't talk about my writing much unless someone asks because it makes me feel self-conscious. I'm trying to get over that but I still find it hard to discuss something so personal to me. With my blog, I'm starting to get the word out about my book. As it gets closer to being published, I'll write more about it, but then I don't want to turn people off by talking about it too much. I have to find that balance -- whetting people's interest without overdoing it or giving too much away. I'm finding it's a lot easier said than done.