SHUT UP AND WRITE! YOUR VISION IS YOUR OWN FOR BETTER OR WORSE
Writers are in the execution business. Fundamentally, writing is not something you talk about—it is something you do.
Clearly, if you are collaborating with someone you talk to them (though there are exceptions even in that case) but mostly—if you are wise—you keep your thoughts to yourself until you have finished. And by “finished” I mean you have done everything you reasonably can to make your work as good as possible.
You behave this way because somehow the creative process seems to be affected if you talk about your ideas before they have been transmuted into the written word. Talking has a tendency to break the spell. Writing is magic you will surely know.
Mark Slouka wrote a perceptive and amusing piece about all this in the New York Times of August 24 2013. It is headed: Don’t Ask What I’m Writing
Here are a couple of non-sequential extracts. The whole piece is well worth reading.
Want to lose a friend who’s a writer? Ask her, a month in, how it’s going. Better still, ask her to describe what she’s working on. She’ll try, because she has to (“Well, it’s about this friendship between these two, um, friends . . . ”) all the while listening to the magic leaking out of the balloon, and she’ll hate you for it.
Writing, I figure, at least any writing worth reading, isn’t done by committee, and though I haven’t always been strong enough to live by this precept, I’ll stand by it nonetheless: Your vision is your own, for better or worse.
These reminders should be on the wall above my desk: 1. Trust a few, necessary voices. 2. Try, as much as possible, to avoid torturing these brave souls with your own insecurities. 3. Shut up and write.