Who do you talk to about your writing ideas? A good friend? A critique group? Your family? No one?
The further I go down the path of the writing life, the less I want to talk about it. A wise young woman, Kara Skye, once told me that once she told someone about the stories in her head, she was no longer motivated to it down on the page. I laughed the idea off at the time, I was always ready to talk about my stories, but her words stuck with me. Three times in the last few months, I have talked through an idea for a short story or a novel with my husband and now have no motivation to work on any one of them. During the conversations, I was gung-ho about each of the projects and scribbled down notes, but now – nothing. I fear those stories are destined for the Dead Ideas file drawer.
So, is there a point in the creative process that is too early to share an idea? The longer I write, the more I think there is. I’m beginning to think that other people’s ideas can muddle my own and then the original idea loses its sparkle for me. Also, I can recall a few times when my critique partners have brought nascent stories to the group and essentially the story got written by the group, instead of the writer. Because they didn’t have a strong enough handle on where they were going with their idea, they let us add our ideas and, all we ended with at the end was a mess.
At what point in your process do you share your works in progress? Do you hold them back until they are fully steeped? Do you get input along the way? Are there some people you will talk to and others you won’t?