I’d love to tell you what I’m reading this week, but then I’d have to kill you. Because it’s for research for my next novel, and if I disclose it, you might figure out what I’m working on. As somebody who like to stay very much behind the curtain until the Big Reveal, I can’t have that, can I?
Okay, I lied a little bit. If you’ve been in a book club I’ve visited recently or an event I’ve spoken at, you know I’ve taken your temperature in terms of whether you like my current idea. I do like to get a sense of how readers will respond by whether there’s an “Oooh” or “Ahhhh” factor, whether people are nodding when I disclose or whether they’re actively falling asleep.
And I do have a trusted circle of friends and confidants who cannot escape my relentless discussion of my WIP, often in an utterly incomprehensible, non-sequiturial way that only I can really get excited about (“So I decided my main character should be from Vermont, isn’t that great?!?!?!”).
Still, aside from that inner circle and the broad-strokes ideas I mention at book clubs, I don’t talk about what I’m working on. For a couple of reasons:
1. I’m superstitious. If I talk about it, it will go away.
2. Writing is about communication. I have a vision and people in my head. I want to share that with you. If I do so verbally–voila! I don’t have to write the book.
I’ve watched the bright balloons of my ideas get carried away on the currents of my verbiage, so now I no longer want to risk it–to the point at which I won’t even mention what I’m reading if it’s connected to what I’m working on. Because when I’m working on a book, almost everything I read has to be related to it somehow, helping me stay in the immersion zone.
Which is why I also won’t blurb other writers’ books while I’m working intensely–but that is another story.
Writers, what about you? When you’re writing, are you a sharer or secretive? What helps your process?
* Come back next week for another Friday Reads (I may post some fiction, I promise!) *