Another bogus writing rule

I used to have a rule of not discussing my current writing projects because I believed it was bad luck, a jinx. Now that I’ve grown up I can see the value of discussing those projects with anyone who will listen. My husband regularly falls victim to my excited babble. He makes all the right noises at the appropriate moments and occasionally is allowed to make suggestions, but mostly he just listens. He’s learned that I need to sound it out, not because I need feedback necessarily, but because sounding it out allows me to see the (lack of) value of the story. Sometimes my babble amuses him, sometimes it bores him, sometimes it confuses him – especially when I’ve just spent an hour going over a plot with him only to scrap it and propose a new one.

It is often said that writers are lonely people, and yet for many writers the writing experience is seldom a solo one. Every writer has an audience and almost every writer wants to share their work with someone, or many someones. It is true that writing a novel can feel like a solitary and isolated experience, but few novels have ever been written without the influence of any other human being. Think of the many people a writer comes into contact with throughout the process of writing a novel: their own family members, best friends who want to hear about the novel, other writers who may or may not be solicited for advice, library staff who assist you with research, doctors and dentists (my dentist always asks me about my novel and is always probing me for more details), proofreaders and sometimes, if you’re lucky, editors. Writing a novel might feel like a lonely experience at times, but you aren’t alone at all.


About Sharon

Writer, bibliophile, dreamer and student of everything
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11 Responses to Another bogus writing rule

  1. Hey, this is a very nice blog! It seems you are doing well in the alexa rankings. If you can please help me jump in the rankings as well by checking out my site at thank you so much for your time and I will check back on here when I get a chance!

  2. drtombibey says:

    I’ve made a lot of friends as a doc and also with my mandolin, but sometimes I wonder if I’ll make even more as a writer.

    Dr. B

  3. heather says:

    How lucky to have a husband who listens to your excited babble- mine, well his eyes just glaze right over. The solitary nature of writing is great but it can be awful.

  4. vanyieck says:

    I have a wife who serves that same function as your husband. I love reading my stories in front of an audience. I get so nervous and excited beforehand, wondering how well it will go over.

  5. Linda says:

    When I wrote my first novel, it was much more a solitary experience, but now with all my real and virtual writer friends, it’s much less so.

    There are only a couple people in my life who ever ask about my book. My husband only asks if it’s done. 🙂 But I do love being able to brainstorm with other writers. Sometimes I know something is not working, but have no idea how to fix it and then I take it to critique group and they give me all sorts of possibilities. It starts the writing flowing again.

  6. jenniferneri says:

    Just this week I said “being a mom is solitary, as is being a writer.”

    The process is solitary, but we can also partake in groups, etc. This is something I have trying to do more of the last months.

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