The photo challenge this week is, the sign says. When we travel, I am the one who takes pictures of signs. Here is one of my all-time favourites, applicable to so many situations in life.
As I look at this sign, I find myself thinking that writing is a lonely endeavour. I have spent months on my first draft, which by its very nature is something personal, between me and the story I’m trying to tell. It is not ready for public consumption. Even though I’m well aware of that fact, it’s hard to keep quiet. I get to a point where I am dying to talk about the characters and the story. The compulsion is even stronger now as I work on the second draft. It’s still not even ready for beta readers, but I’m more eager than ever to talk. Herein lies the danger that the sign eludes to.
Where do you find someone who understands what this early stage of the process is like for a writer? It is unlikely that we will find ourselves married or partnered with other writers, and that’s probably for the best. But I need someone who knows that if I break down and yammer on about the storyline, or the characters, or go into a complete tailspin and actually read something aloud, the only response acceptable is unqualified praise.
I need to be built up. I’m running a marathon, and I’m getting tired. Where are the supporters on the side-lines handing out fruit and energy drinks?
The last thing I want is critique. Believe me, there will be more than enough time for that down the road, and I’m well aware of that fact.
Heed the sign above. If a writer shares something with you at this early stage, plaster a gigantic smile and your face and layer on the praise. Otherwise you might find yourself at the mercy of the danger this sign describes.