Not Tellin’

ZipLipsTwo weeks ago, I sent my editor a proposal for my current work in progress (aka WIP).  The following week, I got nothing done on it. My failure wasn’t all about getting my daughter ready for back-to-school because I managed to write two blog posts during that time. No, the problem is this: talking about “what I’m working on” saps all the energy from “what I’m working on.” So I don’t talk about it unless absolutely required. My editor is an absolute requirement. This blog, well, not so much.

It took me quite a few years to learn this lesson—twenty-seven to be exact. When fellow writers or my husband asked how the writing was going, I’d give them a fairly detailed accounting.  As a result, it took me years to finish a manuscript. I thought I was just a procrastinator. For sure, I’m an accomplished goldbricker (and to prove it, I just Googled the origin of the term goldbrick). But in the last three years I’ve learned that if I simply write and don’t discuss writing with anyone, I actually—gasp—write.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s difficult not to shout plot points, conflicts, and character sketches from the rooftops. I want to hash out character motivation with critique partners or my editor. I want to tell my husband all about my fascinating Google search on guns or head trauma. That’s why it took me so long to learn the lesson. I was so excited about my stories that I wanted to share them with everyone. Unfortunately, I can’t talk about my WIP and actually work on my WIP.

It was a hard lesson to learn, but one I’m hoping will stick. So what am I working on? A paint job in the middle of my house. Moving my son to his new home in another state. (Yes, tears will be involved!) Making certain my daughter’s ready for her senior year of high school. (More tears!) Oh, and a book—the third in the Lovers and Friends series—Meredith’s story. If you’d like to meet Meredith, check out Sharing Hailey and Waiting for Ty. She makes appearances in both. And that’s all I’m sayin’ about that.

What are you working on?

This post first appeared at The Contemporary Romance Café in 2013. Except for the story I’m working on and the kid stuff, it still applies.

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