Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Why I Don't Like Discussing Current Projects

So, I want to try and explain something today.  There are a few questions that writers are accustomed to, and one of the most common questions is a polite inquiry about whatever it is that we're working on at present.  Now, I always appreciate anyone taking interest in my work, but this is a question I always try to avoid, and I'm sure my answers are seldom rewarding.  My hope is that in explaining my thought process here, those of you who may have been miffed (or may one day be miffed) by my generic responses to this all-too-common query will understand.

First off, I have no problems discussing anything that has been completed.  Typically, I'm more than willing to spill the beans once my first draft is finished, so you don't even have to wait for revisions and rewrites and such.  Yet I'm reluctant to discuss anything I'm currently working on, or any brilliant ideas I have yet to launch.  Many assume I'm not willing to talk about these projects because I'm afraid my ideas will be stolen, and I can see why they might perceive that as an insult.  Relax, I trust you, and I'm not worried that you're going to take my next big idea and run with it.  There are no new stories to tell anyway, it's all about the storytelling in this day and age, and I happen to like my flavor.

No, the truth is that I believe that any storyteller, whether they're a writer, a filmmaker, or even a musician, has a certain amount of juice to devote to their craft.  I guess I think we're sort of like batteries.  I also think that far too many storytellers use up too much juice talking about projects they should be working on and never produce the artwork they should.  Think about it: how many people do you know who have told you about a book they were going to write over and over again without writing a single sentence?  How many aspiring filmmakers constantly explain their big idea to people without ever buckling down and working to make it a reality?  How many musicians are constantly talking about the type of band they would like to be in and the material they would like to produce without bringing any other musicians into the fold or playing any chords?

I think a lot of aspiring storytellers fall into the trap of talking about what they intend to do, and either they use up all the enthusiasm and energy they have for the material in question describing it, or perhaps talking about it somehow becomes an acceptable substitute for production.

Now, maybe it's just me, maybe I'm the only artist wired like this, but that's why I'm so reluctant to open up and really lay out whatever I'm currently working on.  Hell, if you get a working title out of me, you should be impressed.  I like to devote myself to the work, and when I'm done I'm very eager to share the final product.  I just don't like talking about something I'm working on until I'm done.

So, I hope that helps.  For the record, I'm currently working on a sequel to Trailer Park Trash & Vampires.  The working title for that project is "Raining Blood" and I hope to use that title upon publication.  Since so many have asked, I have gone as far as to explain that the primary threat the survivors of TPT&V face in the sequel is NOT a vampire, but that's all you get.  I'm also working on an unnamed thriller that may or may not benefit from a small dose of the supernatural.  I'm not trying to be cryptic about the supernatural element either, I'm still undecided on that front.

Anyway, sharing is caring, and that's what I like to do here in the Land of Way.  I am looking to publish another novel this summer (it's called Dirty Southside Jam, it's finished, and you can ask me anything you like about it) and I'll keep you informed about that book and those that follow here.  I'll also continue to tell you all about the movies and shows I'm watching, the sports I treasure, the music I'm listening to, and the real good stuff, the various books and comics I'm scoping out.

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