Should you tell people you are writing a book?
This a question most writers will ask themselves.
Some advise that you keep your novel a secret, at least until it’s ready to be shown to the rest of the word. Meanwhile, others say the support from a friend or loved one can be really beneficial on your writing journey. So what are we to do? Do we tell our friends and loved ones that we have decided to pursue our writing dreams, or do we lock ourselves and our WIPs tightly away from prying and judgmental eyes?
Let’s begin by weighing up the pros and cons.
An outsider’s perspective can be a valuable asset. They can shed light on things you may not have seen and bring fresh ideas to the table. There have been many times where I have turned to my partner when I’ve been unsure about the direction in which I should take a scene. His new ideas often fix the issue and spark my inspiration, allowing me to take it in my own direction.
Finding the time needed to write is the biggest challenge for many writers. As such, you will be required to make sacrifices in order to free up some time for your writing. By sharing your writing goals with your family and friends, they will be much more understanding and supportive when you need to forgo social events.
In some ways, your loved ones will provide you with your first taste of reader-feedback. Pitch them your ideas and the basic outline of your plot. They will tell you if the twist was too predictable or if your protagonist is boring, allowing you to improve your novel before you even begin writing it.
Most people underestimate the amount of time it takes to write a novel – or anything, for that matter. In fact, many think that bestsellers are written in a matter of months. They do not consider the amount of research, planning and editing needed to make a manuscript publishable. As such, people commonly act unimpressed by your progress. This can instil feelings of self doubt, inadequacy and pressure. Not an ideal combo.
You Tell Your Story More Than You Write It
You have a story bubbling up inside you and you are dying to tell it — I mean, that’s why you decided to write a novel in the first place, right? In our excitement, we begin to tell people what our story is about. In some ways, when you talk about your story, it can feel like you are writing it, even though you have yet to write a single word on the page. This is dangerous territory because, eventually, your need to write the story may begin to fade.
They Will Want To Read It
If you decide to tell people that you are writing a novel, be prepared for the onslaught of questions, including:
“What’s it about?”
“Can I read it?”
“Are you going to publish it?”
I personally have told my friends and family that I am writing a novel. Some are thrilled that I have taken the first step needed to achieve my dream, while others have been less than encouraging. As such, my advice is this. Tell only those that you love and trust to support you on this journey. The people who don’t support you, will only weigh you down and hinder your progress.