Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Talking About Your Writing

I may have talked about this before on the blog, but if so it was long ago and I don't remember it.  So chances are, neither do you.  How do ya like that logic?

Talking about your writing.  Do you do it?  What do you say?  And how on earth do you fend off that horrendous question, "Are you published?" 

Just thinking of the question makes me feel all jittery and inadequate.  But WHY?  WHY do these words strike fear into the heart of un-pubbed/un-repped writers everywhere?


This Thanksgiving I took a stand.  I talked about my writing.  I talked about both of my books.  And I liked it.  I met someone who works in a bookstore, because I was willing to open myself up and talk about it.  I met another person who works at a small publishing house.  I got to talk to an old friend who wants to write a book, even has an outline, but doesn't know where to start.

I made a bunch of connections over the holidays with people I would have never imagined just because I was willing to risk the dreaded question.  "Are you published?"  And yes, I got it every single time the conversation swung to writing.  But I slid over it with ease, "I'm currently revising my second novel, and looking for an agent."

Everyone would smile and nod and say how great that was.  How they couldn't wait to read my stories.  And those feelings of inadequacy because I don't have a book on shelves yet slowly faded to the background.  Now I've got a connection to a bookstore in another city for signings once I do have a book.  Plus a new writing buddy to pass along the things I've learned.

So much good can come from putting yourself out there and talking about your work. 

I'm here to challenge you.  Talk about your WIP to someone today.  Someone removed from your writing circle.  Then come report how great it felt.  It's kinda like writing a goal on paper...to make it seem more serious.  I share my dreams with people to remind myself that it is achievable.  It's hard, sure, but we can do it.  We've all already done something more than most -- we wrote the book.  The rest is cakes and pies.

Do you normally talk about your writing, or is it something you keep to yourself?


Pam Harris said...

I talk about my writing with other writers, but I normally get shy talking about it with "outsiders." I work at a middle school, and even though I write YA, some of my topics are a bit too dark. My students know that I'm getting an MFA and when they ask me about my novels, I kind of brush them off. I would LOVE to get more comfortable talking about my writing, though. Now I just have to find someone who cares. :)

Susan said...

I hate the "published" question. HATE IT!!!

But otherwise I LOVE taking about writing. It's like opening the floodgates, actually... I tend to ramble people's ears off -- they go glassy-eyed and shuffle uncomfortably. Yet STILL I talk.

I have to make a conscious effort to rein myself in...

That's why I prefer talking to other writers about writing because they're as OBSESSED as me. :)

Creepy Query Girl said...

Ugh. I just got that question yesterday and I got a knot in my stomache as I explained that I'm querrying my third novel, an agent has asked for pages but I don't know when I'll get a response..blah blah blah'. I used to talk about it ALL the time when I first started. Two years later I keep it to myself because...I'm still not published. I hope to build up to that carefree, sharing attitude. Great post!

Erinn said...

It wasn't until a few months ago I started talking about my writing. In fact, this school year I told my students. I think blogging about my writing has made me more comfortable about talking about writing in real life.

I tell people I haven't been published and I'm kinda of cool with not getting published. I tell people it's my hobby because it keeps me out of trouble, otherwise I'd be robbing 7-11's :-p

Great post!

Holly Dodson said...

Pam, everyone cares! lol Well...maybe not everyone, but the people who know and like you care. :)

Oh, Susan, feel free to ramble with me! lol I love going on and on about writing in general, but I have a hard time talking specifically about my projects.

CQG, that's the worst question on the planet methinks. The worst is when the topic takes you by surprised and you didn't have time to prepare a response!

Erinn, writing totally keeps me out of trouble too. lol

LTM said...

ergh, I've finally started doing that on my blog last week. And you're right. It's very freeing AND who knows where it may lead~ :o) <3

Claire Dawn said...

I generally don't. Because I then have to spend all this time explaining how publish works and no, I can't just stick the book on Kindle and no, it won't be out by next Christmas, and dang it, why did I start this conversation, lol.

But everyone knows I'm an aspiring writer. Even if my brother keeps saying, 'no, you're a teacher.'

A day shall come Brother Dear, and I just might leave out of my acknowledgements :P

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