To Share, or not to Share….


Do you share?  When someone asks about your writing, do you tell them? Because, if you do, they will surely want to know what your latest project is about.  And then what?  Or, do you deftly change the subject, ask about their work, hoping they will take the bait and be so happy to be the center of attention that they will forget they asked?

I’m one of those who takes the second route. You see the image above? That is my nightmare—a house, one I am in the process of building, coming undone.

I am erosion-phobic.

It’s a hard thing to be these days. Especially when so many voices in cyberspace are echoing the same piece of advice, Build Buzz. Share, share, share.

Despite the fact that the advice makes sense, whenever I have given in and shared details about a current project, I’ve lost interest in it. It’s as though the act of exposing what is internal depletes the energy, the passion I need to make it external. Worse, it weakens the ideas themselves, erodes their foundations, so that I am left with splintered fragments.

Occasionally I can salvage and recycle, build something completely new with the remains. But that is rare. Most of the material winds up discarded. And I move on, promising, no, swearing I will never breathe a word about any current project until the first draft is finished.

Until last week, I kept this promise. Then, I don’t know why, or what possessed me, but I had the urge to leave a sacrificial tidbit of writing from a current project on a post to see what would happen. And strangely, shock of shocks, I’m still working. The project hasn’t come undone.  (Holding breath, spitting three times—yes, I do that.)

Maybe that’s the secret then—offering excerpts of a work-in-progress without divulging too much information about it. Share a little, withhold most.

And keep spitting….



8 thoughts on “To Share, or not to Share….

  1. EXACTLY!! If I talk too much about a writing project, it kills the enthusiasm. I’m not that smooth at changing the subject, but I explain to friends that I can’t share details until I’m ready.

    I really liked what the previous commenter said, about sharing chapters with others each week. It would really help keep a person on track, and the feedback would be useful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree: sometimes it is really helpful to get feedback before a project is finished. I’ve done it twice in my life, with roughly a third of the work in progress, but both times the comments were invaluable and actually, surprisingly, gave me the incentive to keep going. After that, though, I didn’t share anymore until I had a completed first draft. Then I burdened my readers with the whole thing. A chapter a week would have been a much more considerate way to go, for certain! 🙂 Many thanks for your comment and great observations!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Barbara…. I hear you! The same dilemma I run into when it comes to people asking, “do you still paint? or Are you painting now?” – it sets off something inside of me that pushes me further back. I haven’t quite figured out a way out of the hole…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very interesting. Like you, I tend not to tell people about my writing projects until they’re complete. This is mainly because I am an insecure person who will lose confidence if the other person’s reaction to my reply is anything less than an expression of utter, overwhelming fascination and admiration. Having said that, when I began writing my legendary novel (“legendary” because now lost in the mists of the past), I did recruit the help of half a dozen or so readers to whom I sent a chapter every week, for feedback. I found that very helpful.

    I’m glad your new writing is in full swing (Ptooey, Ptooey.)

    Liked by 1 person

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