Wednesday, October 27, 2010

                      Speak Up or Shut Up?

When I first started working on "The Stones Cry Out," I didn't say much about the project.

Mostly, I was concerned that talking about the book would rob the story of its power. Much like plucking that first green shoot of spring, only to later wonder why the grass didn't grow.

The people who knew about my novel-in-progress were my husband, my parents, and one very supportive uncle. As a young man in the Navy during WWII, this uncle wrote a novel but never sent it out to publishers. He told me about his regret, then funded several years' toil on "The Stones Cry Out." For that reason, and more, the novel is dedicated to him.

Only when my manuscript was complete did I tell friends about it.

Supportive friends. Not schadenfreude friends.

In retrospect, I see another sensibility to my silence. One school of thought believes that stating our goals out loud makes them more likely to be accomplished. But I've always disagreed --particularly when it comes to writing. Talking about a story-in-progress is probably one of the most detrimental things we can do.

Tell the story, lose the story. That's my theory.

But that adage might hold true for goals in general, according to an excellent post on Mike Hyatt's blog.

Read it.

Then do as Mary did: Ponder in your heart (Luke 2:19)

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