Knowing When and What To Share

Posted by Elizabeth Ryann on 10:06 AM in , ,
Sharing has been a conscious choice forced on all of us pretty much since preschool, and possibly even earlier.

I know a lot of people don't really like to share the details about what they're working on, and I completely and totally get why.  For me, I feel like I can't keep my writing itself a secret because I have really awesome friends and family, and I have to be able to explain why I might not be able to hang out with them.  Which is a completely different thing from actually wanting to hang out with them -- procrastination is an art form that I've pretty much perfected.

My awesome friends and family can be nosy, though, so I also have to decide how much of what I'm working on that I want to share.  I love that they're interested.  And I have to be really careful because I personally love to brainstorm with a group.  It's really fun to bounce ideas off of other people, and a real joy to have them getting genuinely invested in my imaginary friends.

But it's also really easy for them to easily dismiss an idea I might like to use in favor of one of their own, an idea that I might not like as much, and leaving me questioning my original instincts and more confused than ever.  And that's usually when they'll say something along the lines of: "But it's your story.  Do whatever you want."  Which isn't a particularly helpful stance when you're suddenly feeling insecure and unsure.

But the really tricky part is figuring out how my characters will solve the same balancing problem.  I can't tell you how much I hate it when the conflict of a story revolves around two people's utter and complete failure at communicating with each other, especially when their relationship is one where it makes it really ridiculous that they wouldn't share their feelings in the first place.  But I also can't have them blurt out every single thing they know to every person they meet because that's not realistic either.  As handy as it sometimes would be for me to have them do so.

How do you guys solve that sharing problem?

View from my laptop: Above: What are you doing? Right: "April, you should come check this out. There are so many buttons to push." Cats are both distracting and nosy, and completely totally awesome.



It's always tough for me to find a balance between sharing too much or not sharing enough so people know what I'm up to. I probably share a little less now, particularly with people I don't see very often who'd end up asking questions about a manuscript I'd abandoned a year before.

I'm with you on the pet peeve where a story's entire conflict could be solved with one conversation between the characters. That annoys me to no end.

Great post!


Thanks, Tawna! You would know, you knock off great posts daily.

This is a great topic. I've found that I have a *system* kind of like Facebook's customizable privacy controls. A few people I talk to about everything in my WIP while writing, and they are my sounding board. Most others, I'm a little guarded with and don't get into specifics until it's written. Like Tawna, I think as I write more I share less.

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