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Who NOT to talk to about writing your book


“If people are doubting how far you can go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.”

Michele Ruiz

There are going to be some people that you just can’t talk to about writing your book.

Maybe you’ll share it with them in the future, when you can put a fresh-off-the-press copy in their hands, but while you’re writing you need to protect your energy and enthusiasm (not to mention your hope) and talking to them is going to drain you of it all.

When I was writing my PhD, it was my Mum I couldn’t talk to about it. Every time it just turned sour and I came away feeling rubbish. She just had a way of making me feel like it was a petty indulgence that every other person was doing. It wasn’t. It was like climbing fricking Everest with 2 babies strapped to my back. So, I just decided that subject was off-limits with her. We had plenty of other stuff that we could chat about.

Occasionally we’d hit on it, and I’d answer questions like, ‘How’s it going? How long til you’re done?’ but I’d never get into the feelings of it. The stuff that was raw, or anything that really mattered.

So, for you, who is it you need to add to the no-go list? Who is it you need to put your book off limits with? You’ll know. I expect you knew who it was as soon as you saw this blog title. It could be more than one person.

Basically, anyone who makes you feel rubbish, disheartened or disillusioned about writing your book needs to be on this list.

You might find people come and go off the list. You don’t know what’s going on in their lives or why they’re reacting like they are. You don’t need to work it out either.

All you need to know is that if they’re making you feel bad about writing your book, then you should discuss it with them as little as possible.

What do you do if they bring it up? Here’s my top tips…

  • Answer their questions, but stay neutral. Just answer them. No getting into how you’re feeling or discussing details.
  • Change the subject asap. Where are they going on holiday? Isn’t the weather nice? Whatever, have a topic up your sleeve to switch to.
  • Find other things that you enjoy chatting to them about. What are you both into? What brought you together in the first place? Focus on those things.

Finally, make sure you DO have people to chat about your book with. Friends and family who ‘get it’, other writers, people in real life and people online.

Have a look at The Writing Bootcamp if you’re wanting a supportive community of women to run the race with.

It’s time to write your book.

PS. Love Pinterest? Choose a pin for your writing board…