There are dozens of books about writing and the writing life, but none are as entertaining and in-your-face as Ariel Gore’s How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead. Take, for instance, this jewel from Chapter 10: Keep Your Mouth Shut.
“A story just doesn’t like being talked about. The more often you describe the plot of your [book] to a friend over cocktails, the less likely it will ever get written down. You’ll dilute it, scatter the good bits, get tired of hearing the same scene. Hell, you’ve already told it enough times, why bother writing it at all?”
I am always (100%) sorry after I talk about what I’m working on. Gore is right. It dilutes either (a) the story, or (b) my confidence in trying to tell it. Just last week someone asked me about my memoir and I found myself tripping over and being defensive about the structure and my thematic choices. And then I was back at the computer questioning ALL of my choices.
Note to self: Keep your mouth shut.