For some months now I had been working on one of the longest pieces of writing I have done so far. It proved to be a bit of a challenge, including whether or not to mention anything about it on social media.
When we come up with new story ideas or are in the middle of a writing project, it can sometimes be difficult to contain our excitement. We want others to be excited about it too.
Many years ago, I would let my friends read the stories I was writing at the time. My friends were always interested in what I was writing and were eager to read more, but I would eventually reach the point where I had lost interest. I had no idea where the stories were going; there was no real plot and I only had the basic knowledge of my characters. It therefore came as no surprise to me that I never finished these stories, thus leaving my friends disappointed and I had many incomplete stories lying around. I learned the hard way that I was a plotter and not a pantser.
I have seen some authors on social media discuss with their readers about their current projects, but personally I find that can be distracting. Some may think that by telling our readers about what we are currently working on can be a good way of keeping ourselves accountable. I applaud those authors who can pull this off – whatever works, right? However, for writers like me, I have learned the hard way to keep my writing under wraps until the current project is finished.
Talking to others about our projects before we fully understand them ourselves can sometimes destroy an idea before it really gets started. It may be hard to keep a lid on things, especially when we are in the middle of a writing streak or ‘in the zone’.
Perhaps just stating that we are working on a new project or leaving a tiny hint about it on social media may well be enough to satisfy our readers to know that we are writing without giving too much away (and they will be eager for us to finish).
What are your thoughts? Do you tell others what you are currently working on? Do you find it to be a help or a hindrance? Do you prefer to keep quiet about your work in progress?
Main image courtesy of Pixabay
10 thoughts on “Do You Share Your Current Writing Projects?”
I do, but selectively, without giving too much way, such as title, etc. More basics such as genre.
Hi Savannah. I think that by giving as little away as possible keeps readers in suspense. But then, I also like to use that in my stories too. 😉
I don’t, often because many of the projects I am involved in are trad-published and have commercial sensitivity attached to the information – by contract I have to keep such projects quiet until the marketing department gets going (at which point it’s all on!). On the other hand – and as you say – discussing things once something’s in mind (and in my case, when I’m allowed to) is certainly a benefit: on experience I find it can disentangle some of the problems I am otherwise facing – getting another viewpoint, in effect.
Hi Matthew. Thanks for giving the perspective of a traditionally published author. Sounds like when the marketing department gets going the floodgates are open! Talking issues over with others can definitely be beneficial, especially when there is a lot of research involved, such as yours. My husband is my critique partner and I run everything through with him first before anything goes to beta readers. I think my real problem is I’m easily distracted, so keeping quiet allows me to focus. 😉
The only sharing I do is in my writing club (which consists of two of us), where I will read little excerpts of what I’m currently writing just to get some initial feedback. Otherwise, I get the whole work done before submitting it to test readers. I do drop hints on social media though, things like “I’m almost done with my second book; stay tuned for its release soon!” For my second book, when I was about half way done, I posted my already-completed cover on social media, announcing that it was about Laika, the Sputnik dog, because I felt it would have have appeal to a certain set of people. I wanted to build a little anticipation for it. I think it was a good idea.
It sounds like you have a good approach. I’m glad it’s working for you. 🙂
I forget where I first heard of the idea, but I often find that at its core, for me, writing is a desire to “express” a story, to put it into words, and the funny thing is, if I talk about it with someone else, that can often “expend” that energy. For that reason alone I’m very wary of sharing my thoughts on a current project when I’m in the middle of a writing session, or about to start one.
If I finish a writing session, or I’m far from beginning one, i.e. I’m relaxing, I may share a general statement, “I’m working on a story about a tree spirit who attends a modern day party,” but I don’t go into details, because if I share something specific before the story is complete, I may receive feedback that derails my own concept of the story.
In some ways both actually relate to the same practice; I’m willing to share a general statement, but nothing specific.
Hi Adam. If I’m still processing an idea or I’m in the middle of writing a story, talking about it to others can put me off my concentration. It’s as if I need to be wrapped in my own ‘thought bubble’ so to speak by keeping my ideas and enthusiasm for the story contained. Writing is a form of self expression and therefore I like to keep it to myself until I’m ready to get feedback from beta readers. So I can relate when you say feedback can derail your own concept of the story. By giving as little away as possible, I’d like to think that when we do have something for others to read, they will end up being pleasantly surprised. 🙂
Mmm. Surpassing their expectations.
We can live in hope. 😉
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