I’m always finding metaphors for the writing life in the world around me, and this exchange from Counting by 7s* reminds me of the way I think about early drafts.
“Are you really planning on running?”
Dell mumbles a form of yes. But then adds:
“But I’m not going to join any kind of team in the spring. I made that part up. I’m just going to run for myself.”
I don’t think that’s strange because almost everything that I pursue is for my own understanding or amusement.
I believe having an audience naturally corrupts the performance.
And I believe the more private my writing is in the early stages, the more its about my own understanding and amusement, the more it will eventually connect with an audience. To invite in an audience too early, even an imaginary one, complicates things, for this writer, at least.
That doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes talk about or even show early portions of things to writing friends. But mostly I give stories the room to unfurl, to take root in the midst of their fragile beginnings.
For those readers here who write, I’m curious about how your approach this aspect of your work.
*This book comes highly recommended!