In our last post, we talked about when to share your story if you’re working with a difficult situation, as well as when not to.
But what if you’re writing about a difficult story? Do those same rules still apply?
Yes! Remember how we talked about the importance of NOT sharing your story publicly until you’ve worked through it (Rule #1)? That applies even more when you’re writing about that story.
Why? Because trying to share your story too early can lead to writer’s block. There’s simply too much pressure around how people will respond. Plus, when we share our stories before we’re ready, those all-too-vulnerable spots leave us wide open to attack.
But even if you’re not yet ready to share your story, writing it can still be challenging. You might have to write your way through your story before you’re able to discern what to save and what to keep. That simple (but not always easy) process is what will enable you to get to the other side.
When I was writing The Secret Life of Grief, I wrote pages and pages that never made it into the final manuscript. But I had to write those pages to process my anger and grief. I had to write those pages to get to the other side.
So keep going.
And get support if you have to. That’s critical. Connect with a trusted friend or find a therapist to help you work through those sticky parts. Which brings us back to Rule #2 (from the fabulous Brene Brown):
Only share your story with those who’ve earned the right to hear it.
Remember: the people who’ve earned the right to hear your story are your ride-or-die folks, the people you trust with your life.
Alrighty. Onward, then!
For those of you writing a book, here’s my third rule of thumb:
Put your energy into writing your book instead of talking about it.
I can’t even tell you how important this is. I see so many writers who go on and on about the book they want to write—one day. But many of them never get there.
Because they’ve put all their energy into talking about their book instead of writing it.
And every time we talk about our book, explaining it to everyone we meet, we steal a bit more juju from the pot. If we do that enough, eventually we’ll have nothing left to write.
Don’t make that mistake. Safeguard your story instead. This is one of the main reasons professional writers don’t talk about a new book until they’re well into it.
Those other writers? The ones who are always talking about the book they want to write, going into detail about what it’s going to look like, feel like, act like and taste like? Well, one day, they might wake up to find that their book is gone, that their once-precious idea has gone flat, devoid of energy or life.
So don’t let that be you. Safeguard your story, first and foremost. And trust me—you’ll know when the time is right to share it.
In the meantime, when folks ask you what you’re writing, just smile and move on. Or say something simple, like: “I’ll tell you once I figure it out.” Then keep going.
In our next post, we’ll talk about the importance of choosing and what it has to do with all of this.
P.S.: Don’t you love it when your loved one gets you a holiday gift you actually want? This year, encourage the special people in your life to gift you my How to Get Your Book into the World course! The course makes a fabulous gift (and don’t worry—it doesn’t start until Jan. 24, well after the holidays.)
Just forward them this email or send them the following link:
Thank you sooo much for this class!!! You’ve provided me with answers to questions I did not even know I needed to ask. I feel what I learned from you on the very fist module was worth the price of the entirety of the course. –Marcella Moy
P.S.S.: If you register by December 15, you’ll also get the following two bonuses:
1) How to Ensure that Your Book is Marketable Cheat Sheet
2) The chance to win a free coaching call with me!
So jump on in, folks! You’ll be glad you did.
If, like me, you have a book you are ready to share with the world, Tanja Pajevic’s course will help you sort through various publication strategies and make a plan to launch your work. Whether you decide to seek an agent and a contract with a traditional publishing house or aim to self-publish your book, Tanja has mapped out the intricacies of pitching, writing a book proposal, marketing, and publishing all in one place. Get ready to take a lot of notes, because there’s a lot of material to take in, all of it valuable and garnered by Tanja over her multiple publishing projects. You, too, will thank Tanja for saving you dozens (if not hundreds) of hours sorting through this information and demystifying publishing so you can make the best decisions for getting your book into your readers’ hands. –Rise Keller
As always, simply hit reply or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Happy early December, folks!