Start a story now before your mouth talks it away
“Start a story now before your mouth talks it away.”
I love this line from the blog of authors and writing mentors Robert Ray and Jack Remick. Sometimes, authors do talk too much about their works-in-progress. We talk about not having enough time to write. We talk about plot or character problems we’re having. We talk, talk, and talk until we’ve worn ourselves and our listeners out.
Not all talk is good therapy. Sometimes, silence really is best. We can talk away the energy of a project and talking can be a way of avoiding what we should really be doing–writing. When I start to fall into this trap, I think of the quote above.
I first met Robert Ray and Jack Remick at the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Conference a few years ago and have since joined their writing group whenever I’m in Seattle (not often enough).
The group gathers around a few tables in a coffee shop, sets a timer for 20 to 30 minutes and writes. When the timer goes off, we take turns reading our work aloud to our tablemates. We don’t comment on each other’s work. We just listen.
Write and listen. Simple and effective. To read more writing tips from Ray and Remick check out Bob and Jack’s Writing Blog.