Friday, November 6, 2009

Mine, all Mine!

Tip of the day: Have a great release party tomorrow, Tina! We look forward to pictures next week!

Someone at work recently asked me what I was working on as far as books were concerned. I said I’d been working on a project for the past 8 months or so, but I was hesitant to share anything about it yet. She asked me why that was, and wondered if it was because the person being told then projects their expectations about the book or something. I told her that might be part of it, but I couldn’t really explain it, that it’s just sort of a writer’s thing, to hold our projects close to our chests sometimes.

Muses can be very fickle things. At least, mine can. Sometimes simply releasing a story out in the world before it’s ready, even just a verbal description, makes my muse cranky. Suddenly, that sparkly project doesn’t look so sparkly any more.

And I’ve learned over the years that sometimes what I think is a great idea doesn’t sound as great to other people. I always hope it will be met with enthusiasm, but when it’s not, it can be a bit discouraging.

Finally, I think that since I now have other books out there for others to judge, it’s simply nice to have something that’s mine and only mine for awhile. No one else’s. Mine to do what I want, to build it up or rip it down, and not have anyone passing judgment on what I’m doing.

What about you? Do you like telling people what you’re working on, or do you tend to keep it under wraps, like I (usually) do?

~Lisa, Miss Crafting a Career


C.K. said...

I'm in the keep it to myself camp. I feel like when I'm in the middle of things I'm too wrapped up in the story to articulate much about the book - plus, at that point it's all very much subject to change.

I've spoken, just a very little bit, to a couple of non-writer friends about the novel I just finished. But since there's no deal in place for it yet and at best it won't be out for years I can't see that there's much point in discussing it anyway.

And I do like having it to myself, it's like knowing a special secret or something.

Shannon Messenger said...

I'm with you, I hold it close. Part of that is because I'm very bad at verbal pitches (just ask my professors back in film school) so I don't really do the project justice, and then they get this look on their face like, "Oh." (I actually had professors say--when finally seeing some of my pages--"Oh, so this doesn't suck. I was worried about you." *sighs*)

But the other reason is that talking about my project feels like walking around in a bikini--I hope people like what they see but I'm VERY afraid they might notice my serious need for sit-ups/lunges (and no, I will not be caught dead in a bikini around anyone other than my husband.) I'm trying to get over it--I'm going to a writer's conference in Jan and it will be pointless if I don't talk about my project--but it's not easy. *Deep breath*

Cat Clarke said...

I don't mind telling certain people, and I try to give a one-line description (which always sounds rubbish). If they don't sound a tiny bit enthusiastic about it then I add them to my list of 'People never to talk to about writing. Ever.'

Kate Fall said...

LOL, I love these comments. I don't mind sharing story ideas with my writer friends and crit partners. But why would I share a story in progress with someone who doesn't read YA anyway? It's not like they'd show enthusiasm for any idea.

Jackie Dolamore said...

I used to be so talkative about what I was working on. That was before it was sold, before I had an agent. I think I was afraid no one would ever read it, and I wanted someone to read it so badly. I have always share my work with anyone who asks to see it, even people I hardly like! Sometimes I'm surprised. I once gave something I was working on to a boss at my old job, after she asked what the heck I was doing that I didn't want more hours, and she ended up loving the book, to the point where I wrote a lot of it just because she kept asking.

Now that I expect my work to have an eventual audience, I no longer feel like I have to share. But, I am still quite willing to share, if people ask. I still enjoy it. I can definitely understand not wanting to share, though.