The Practice of Creativity

Before You Talk About Your Writing, Consider This & Affirmations-366Days#72

Posted on: March 13, 2016

Affirmations-366Days#72: I am careful not to talk all the energy out of a writing idea. I wait until the right time to talk about my creative work with others.

For new readers, here’s why I’m committing to writing affirmations, about the creative process, during the next 366 days.

For many years, I’d talk to anyone about what I was intending to write or generally working on. Sometimes talking about a great idea for a writing project made it more real to me. Or, sometimes, talking as if I was already finished with a project made me feel more like a “real” writer. The funny thing was that sharing a lot about my writing seemed to take energy away from actually doing the writing. Indiscriminately talking about what one is going to write can be a form of procrastination. Our minds are pretty crafty and can trick us into believing that all that talking is like taking the action of putting words down on paper. It isn’t. Talking about writing (no matter how enthusiastic one is or one’s audience is), however, is not writing. I am now pretty secretive about my writing, usually only talking about it to others (besides those in my writing group), when a project is near completion.

I like Nancy Peacock’s take on this topic. Her book of essays about being a writer and a housecleaner, A Broom of One’s Own: Words on Writing, Housecleaning and Life, is a great addition to your writing library:

Excerpt from Chapter 7: The Writing Spider

I cringe whenever a writer asks if I’d like to hear about the book he is working on, or in some cases not working on but merely thinking about. “Write it down,” I tell him.

“Oh, I will. But don’t you want to hear about it now?”

No, I don’t.

Don’t break that magical spell of writing a story and waiting for it to evolve, day after day after day after day. Don’t dither away the energy with cocktail chatter. Don’t give your baby any form other than the written word. (my emphasis)

Stories want to be form, but they aren’t attached to the form that they take. A story is just as content to be told orally as it is to be written. If I go around telling it to everyone, it’s happy and gone. The tension is over. Talking about a work in progress to anyone but the most carefully chosen people is a death knell.


1 Response to "Before You Talk About Your Writing, Consider This & Affirmations-366Days#72"

I don’t necessarily talk about my work . . . but that’s because I’m too busy reading about writing instead of actually writing. Oops.


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Michele Tracy Berger

Michele Tracy Berger

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