Letting the Cork Out

More than once I have seen the advice about keeping your writing projects to yourself.

The idea runs that if you are impelled to write about something, but talk about it before you write it, the writing may never happen.

There are a couple explanations for this:

  • The psyche’s subconscious need to tell the story/information has been satisfied
  • You use up your enthusiasm talking, and have no energy left for writing
  • You begin doubting the idea and self-editing before you even start

This “dire” warning weighs on my mind occasionally, for more than one reason.

First of all, I can see that it’s right. I can use talking about (and organizing) my writing projects to avoid actually working on them. Or I’ll feel an element of one or all of the bulleted points above.

The other reason I think about it is because it doesn’t apply to me.

Yeah. Makes sense to me too.

I’ve said before I process by working through (talking– or writing– about). Writing as a Second Language promotes a corner of the way I think: hash it it the the language you know best (speech) and that will help refine it your second language (print).

The question I face is, How do I reconcile my personality with the prudence to be more closed about my work?

To learn internal processing makes the most sense.

Yeah…I’m working on that…

(Starting a new project. Not going to tell you about it. ;) )

6 thoughts on “Letting the Cork Out

  1. “I can use talking about (and organizing) my writing projects to avoid actually working on them. Or I’ll feel an element of one or all of the bulleted points above.”

    I can do this with my to-do list, but it also doesn’t apply to me because I can’t do my chores/errands/etc. until I feel organized.

    So when you figure yours out maybe you can let me know. Lol.

  2. I think I am the opposite…I use writing (my first language) to prepare me for speaking. : ) I have trouble speaking clearly about something – even in conversation – without writing it out first. I think by writing.

  3. Very interesting . . . I think I let the wind out of my sails sometimes when I talk about things before I write about them. I’ll have to think on this one some more – good food for thought (but I ain’t gonna tell you what I’m thinking!)

  4. OOPS! I wish I had read this post a week ago! I have this great book idea. . . and now I know NOT to tell you about it!
    Thanks for the advice!

  5. While telling someone your entire story idea could be detrimental to the writing process, I have found that cultivating friendships with several writers with whom I could share story ideas to be extremely beneficial. These are the people I can bounce ideas off of, and they can tell me whether they think it is strong enough to support an entire novel–or even if they’ve recently read something just like that. The added bonus to having other writers to bounce ideas off of is that they can actually help us brainstorm ideas for our stories, especially if we’re just in the “seed” stage of developing it.

    But you’re right–talking through the whole story, or even telling someone about the details of a scene I’ve just thought of can hinder me from writing . . . just like writing a detailed synopsis of the story makes me not want to write it any more. For me, the joy of writing is in the proecess of discovering where the story and characters are going to take me. If I already know not just the destination but the entire journey, what’s the point in laboring over writing a 90,000 word manuscript?

  6. I found a quote that relates, in my mind:

    I like to have a thing suggested rather than told in full. When every detail is given, the mind rests satisfied, and the imagination loses the desire to use its own wings.
    – Thomas Aldrich, Leaves from a Notebook

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