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Why I Don’t Want to Hear about Your Book

March 30, 2014|Posted in: Uncategorized

Although any published author will tell you that writing is a difficult profession that takes years and years to get going in your life, I still find no shortage of people in the day-to-day who are convinced they’re going to write the next novel-fad. I understand, you’re excited- but I don’t want to hear about your book. There’s certainly nothing wrong with this mentality (as I’m sure that same mentality is how some authors get going), but it always elicits the same response from me: Please. If you were going to write a book you’d be writing it instead of talking to me.

What I’ve often found is that the amount of words written onto a piece of paper is inversely proportional to the amount the aspiring author talks about it. In other words, the more someone talks about this cool book idea they have, the less likely they are to have written a single word of it down. At least, that’s been my experience.

So really I should specify. I would absolutely love to hear about a book you’re actually in the process of writing– so long as that process includes actual, significant written words. I’d even be happy to help you brainstorm for a book you’d like to write someday. But I absolutely don’t want to hear about how you’re in the “outlining stage” of writing (whatever that means) or how you’ve got this cast of eccentric characters (each more zany than the last!) or even about how your main character is totally like you in some quirky way.

Point is, if I can’t actually read what you’ve planned because you haven’t written a single word of it, then it’s difficult for me to get overly-invested in your idea. Again, there’s nothing wrong with brainstorming with a friend. The only problem is that most people get their jollies by telling some hapless bystander all about their plot, setting, and characters without ever letting them get a word in edgewise or even read the product.

So the next time you want to talk to someone about the book you’re writing, stop and think. Would your time be better spent writing the book instead of rehashing cool scenes for a third party? Because I guarantee you that person would much rather read what you’ve written so far (even if it’s not perfect) then listen to you describe it to them.