Unpublished authors—do you tell people you are working on a book? The old Puritan blood in my veins prompts me to think, NO, no, never, that would be attracting the devil’s attention, inviting disaster. Of course, the ‘Manifest Your Own Destiny’ school is completely the opposite. Speak proudly of your end goal and that confidence will pull you along to where you need to go.

So, typically, I often find myself trying to chart a middle path by referring to ‘my story’, rather than a book. It will be a book AFTER a publisher deals with it. My responsibility lies in the story-telling.

The first approach feels a bit like scape-goating to me now. Though pride does ‘goeth before a fall,’ aye? And why set yourself up to be laughed at as a failure among all your friends and acquaintances? Perhaps it is wise Puritan advice to leave the unnecessary pressure for the stock brokers and let the writers simply enjoy their work. Unless you are the kind of person who responds better to pressure than joy. Then you might require, or at least thrive on, the constant questions from friends and family about how the book is progressing. The manifesters probably have that in mind; even more than your own positive thinking, you have (hopefully) lots of other believers out there working in your favor.

Ahh. Ain’t this why I love fiction? Because I so often see things from multiple perspectives, it is fun to see what different characters, with their various points of view, can get themselves into. And since a good story doesn’t preach, it throws out situations, and challenges readers to think for themselves. That’s why I love a good book discussion group too. Civilized wrestling with the challenges an author poses through a story’s characters can bring greater depth to the questions the writer was asking. It makes of all the solitary writing time a participatory experience. And imagining that participation in a distant future can be part of the creative process. Let go of chronological time and enjoy some of the potential discussion questions now. Do it as a writing prompt when you are stuck—either in character or as yourself in quandary. It all sounds fun to me!


About sidney woods

After a couple of practice novels, I'm now engrossed in an effort to create my first YA story, set in the tumultuous year of 1980. The best of YA stories fit my passion for reading that's worth something, so I think about those stories 'out loud' here.

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