Thursday, April 7, 2016

Secret projects

Sometimes it's nice to have a writing project that you don't talk about.
You don't discuss it with anyone, so all your writing energy goes into the story, into moving it forward and making it better.
It's just for you. Maybe someday others will get to read it, but in the beginning it's just the two of you.
There's immense freedom in that, in knowing that nobody else's expectations will sway it. Nobody's criticism matters; nobody's approval is necessary.
Nobody else is awaiting it, so even if you stop dead in the middle of a sentence and never touch it again, it's OK. If you write 5000 words a day on it, it's OK. If you do just one draft, it's OK. If you do 71 drafts, it's OK.
Everything's OK, which is the really marvelous part. You are not worried about selling it. You are not worried about anything, really.

I have had secret projects, and they were fun. Maybe they're not for everyone; some people like to talk through plotlines and characters as they write. But this post is for the ones who hug a work-in-progress close to the vest, maybe not even admitting that it exists. For a while, anyway.

Have you ever had a secret project?

8 comments:

  1. If I say yes, is it still a secret?

    (Yes.)

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    1. Well, I don't know *what* it is, so it's still a secret!

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  2. Good point, Kelly! It's true. I still need validation at this point in my writing career. Bravo to all of you who don't. I'm striving to that point. Thank you for this, Jennifer.

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    1. Sometimes we need external encouragement, and other times we need to nurture the inner voice above all else--for a while, at least. It all depends.

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  3. I have kind of a secret project on the old C: drive right now. It's at the point now that I will have to do something with it or keep it forever shut away.

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  4. A lot of my secret projects are works-in-progress I plan in my head. The reason I don't share them with others yet is because I don't want anyone's disapproval or judgement to keep me from brainstorming uninhibitedly, which can be enjoyable at times.

    Thanks for visiting my blog recently. How cool that you share an agency with SE Hinton!

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    1. You and I seem to have read a lot of the same books growing up! Wish we'd been able to talk about them then, but now is good, too.

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