Should You Talk About Your Article Or Book Ideas?

This post, from Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen, originally appeared on her Quips and Tips for Successful Writers site on 6/16/09.

Successful writers create new article or book ideas all the time – but do they talk about them before they’re written? Not according to Mario Puzo, Sidney Sheldon, or Ernest Hemingway…

“Never talk about what you are going to do until after you have written it,” said Mario Puzo.

Oops. I’m not only talking about my latest book idea, I’ve actually written about it on my blog (The Adventurous Writer), in Seeking Successful Published Authors. But, the good news is John Steinbeck talked about his book ideas before they were written, too!  Here’s a few quips from published authors about talking about writing – plus some tips. For more in-depth info on getting your ideas published, click on Putting Your Passion Into Print: Get Your Book Published Successfully! by Arielle Eckstut and David Sterry.

Should You Talk About Your Article or Book Ideas?

The quip: “I don’t like to talk about works-in-progress because if I do then it’s on TV 10 weeks later, and it takes me two to three years to write a novel because I do so much rewriting.” – Sidney Sheldon

  • The tip: Okay, we may be successful writers, but most of us aren’t in Sheldon’s league! Even so, many writers fear the possibility that their book or article ideas will show up in a magazine, another writer’s blog, or a book. I believe the chances that someone deliberately steals ideas are slim (plus, you can’t legally fight it because ideas can’t be copyrighted). I also believe in a cosmic karma/common sense flow that leads people to similar ideas at the same time. That is, leads for ideas are floating around in the news, on Twitter, etc – our world is so small, writers are bound to come up with the same ideas at the same time. (To figure out if your idea is valuable, read Tips for Recognizing Great Article Ideas)

The quip: “You lose it if you talk about it.” – Ernest Hemingway

  • The tip: If you talk about your ideas, be selective. Don’t spread your ideas around writers’ forums or on Twitter (oops, I goofed again). Rather, share your ideas with inspiring fellow writers, your writing group, or people you trust. Talking your way through problems with finding sources for articles or plot dilemmas for novels is a great way to find solutions! But, I encourage you to pull a “Hemingway”, and do what works for you.

Read the rest of the post on Quips and Tips for Successful Writers.