Writing Discussions: Beyond This Blog

I don’t know about you, but I have the hardest time talking about my writing projects outside of my blog.

When friends and family ask about my writing endeavors I clam up, and then to compensate, I ramble for 20 minutes about my novel or this blog. I make a mess of explaining my projects.

People are always nice and they nod their heads, looking somewhat confused. Even with my husband, the one person I am the most comfortable with, I fumble to convey what my projects mean. Luckily he reads my blog so he knows I can form a coherent thought, but when I say my ideas out loud they sound flat and pointless.

I avoid discussing my writing with people, which makes it a lonely craft. (Reason 1,2234 I am grateful for this blog.)

Do you struggle with explaining your art or big projects?

-Rachel McKee

Photo by Miles McKee Photography

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Author: Rachel McKee

Currently writing a YA novel. I love reading about everything, truly I'm not a book snob. Lately I have been "reading" a lot of picture books to my baby boy. In my past life before motherhood, I was a professional technical editor and writer.

17 thoughts on “Writing Discussions: Beyond This Blog”

  1. One: YES, YES, and YES. People find out you’re a writer, ask, “How’s it going?”, but know nothing themselves about writing or blogging, so there is NO POINT in us saying, “Well, actually, my narrator can’t decide which of the guys she likes more, I think I need a plot twist about 10 pages from the end of this chapter, and one of my secondary characters just messed up everything by determining he’s moving to Iceland to herd goats.”

    Two: Because people tend to have misconceptions about writing, they don’t realize that often we are artists who make things up as we go along. PLEASE don’t ask what my book is about before I announce I’m in the proofreading stages of the edited document I sent to the printer. Because before then, I DON’T KNOW.

    Three: Finding it hard to talk about your writing with others is hard. You’re not alone, Rachel. Especially since most of us aren’t on the NY Times Bestseller List, there’s a lot of self-esteem tied to the question of, “Oh, so what are you working on?” In summer 2015 I went to a writers’ conference for the first time ever, and my excitement was quickly killed off by the fact there was not a single fantasy writer among the bunch. I literally felt so ashamed of my WIP (for no good reason, either) that I didn’t touch it for months after that experience.

    So, I recommend coming up with a few pre-planned responses to the most common questions. And don’t try to actually explain the work to the non-writer. Leave out the issues with plot holes, or musings on character motivation, etc. Save that for people who do actually understand what you’re talking about. πŸ˜‰

    (For the record, I never talk about my writing outside of my blog unless I’m forced to.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you understand! Yes, for the love of God, don’t ask me to detail my story!!!! I’m sorry you had a bad experience at the writer’s conference. I haven’t been to one, I’ve played around with the idea of going to one, but I find it hard to spend the money. I like the idea for pre-planned responses – totally going to do that!πŸ˜„

      Like

      1. Well, I discovered that just blindly signing up for a conference – simply because it comes recommended – is not the best idea. I haven’t given up on the whole notion of attending conferences, but I’ll do a lot more research next time. And yes, they can be very expensive.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I live in a community that is filled with writers/screenwriters, musicians and actors, everyone’s projects are discussed or vetted at some point. What I find interesting is that while my community is happy to read my blog, they often let me know that they will not be doing any “liking” or leaving any comments which leaves me writing in a vacuum! Thank goodness here in the blogging world, we can reach out and leave tangible words or symbols, filling that empty vacuum, perhaps providing inspiration along the way! Thank you for sharing, Rachel, so we can do the same for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How wonderful that you have a community to share your passion! I truly appreciate that my friends and family care about my writing, it’s just hard to put into words what I’m working on. There are so many unknowns and variables when drafting. I really appreciate your support.πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  3. In a way yes. I’m not a writer by profession but there are certain things I’m not allowed to discuss with anyone about my job so I often find myself fumbling and redirecting when asked. I also don’t much discuss my blog with any family (in some ways I’d rather they not find out about it).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is interesting, because initially when I opened up my blog to the public and told my friends about it, the lukewarm reception (even from my bestest buddies whom I grew up with and would probably share a blanket / toothbrush and other things not publishable here) made me shudder and reconsider whether I had any real friends! But thank god, I realised that friendships can exist beyond shared passions (or rather, shared passion for writing / keeping a blog). For me, I try to compartmentalise my life, in order to have friends to go to for certain things. So if they don’t understand my writing, tough luck it’s their loss! Sounds like your husband is really understanding and is a loyal reader of your blog. Mine probably doesn’t even know it exists (I don’t blame him and he is very supportive in other ways). I am glad to have the blogging community here though, like a home for my alter ego.
    By the way I have given you a shoutout in my post. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. None of my friends know of my blog. My wife does, but that’s it. I can talk about writing with other writers. I just recently joined a writers’ group in Huntsville, about a thirty minute drive away. They turned out to be a great bunch…most of them are into sci fi and/or fantasy, but I really enjoyed talking about writing…I didn’t even mention my blog. It’s as if the blog is my wonderful, secret world.

    This is a fascinating topic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many of my friends know that I have a blog but few follow. (Which is just fine with me.) I love my little blog world.

      That’s wonderful that you found a good writers’ group! I need to join one too. Just so I have people to talk to face to face about my projects and who can offer feedback.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Absolutely I struggle – so much so that I just don’t talk about it anymore as I feel like I’m justifying my art and that also feels a little like I’m betraying the integrity of it. I am about to start writing a book and intend on keeping it to myself till I type those immortal words “The End” 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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