Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Inevitable Question: How’s Your Writing Going?

I don’t know about the rest of my writer friends, but I’ve decided it’s inevitable that whenever I end up at a gathering that does not include other writers, someone will ask how my writing is going. And it’s really obvious that the people who ask this question mean well. Most of them are truly interested in hearing news about my progress.

The problem is that most of the time there is no quick, easy way to answer this question with much detail. Am I still writing? Yes. More than I ever have. Am I still submitting? Again, yes. Have I finished another novel? Yep. A few. When are they coming out? Uh…someday. Maybe? I hope. Am I still looking for an agent? Yep.

All these answers are the same ones I’ve been giving for a while. In the eyes of the people who ask that question, nothing has really changed. I’m still chasing an impossible dream.

But in reality, everything has changed. I have more finished projects, and am preparing at least one for querying/submission. I am a better writer than I was two years ago. A LOT better. I write faster. I am more focused. My characters are more developed, my plots clearer and more compelling. Most importantly, I feel more confident than ever. I KNOW I’m making progress. I’ve come a long way since I started. And I’m so excited about this progress. About my personal possibilities.

Still, there’s really no way for a non-writer to understand this progress in the ten to thirty second question-answering allowance. So I am usually reduced to something like, “It’s going well. Making some great progress.”

For now, that answer is going to have to be good enough. And I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that someday I’ll have news they can actually understand.

What about you? How do you answer that question?

6 comments:

LM Preston said...

Yes, everyone ask me the same thing too! It's worst then being on a diet. But my writing is going a bit slower than I want because I'm in an editing frenzy on deadline.

Carolyn V said...

I get that question all the time. I hate it. I usually just say I'm doing great. My book will come out soon. I'll let you know. lol. ;)

Angie said...

Good for you, Nichole! I usually just say "great!" with a smile. Maybe it's not always strictly true, but it works.

Britney Gulbrandsen said...

I hate those questions from non-writers because there's just so much they don't understand about the process, having never been there. Even though they mean well, it can be slightly awkward.

I just smile and say, "Good. I'm learning a lot and having tons of fun!"

J.R. Johansson said...

My go to is: My writing is going great! How is yours?

The conversation ends pretty quickly after that. ;-)

L.T. Elliot said...

I hate this question, I won't lie, simply because of the complexity there. Sometimes, I feel like there's this invisible hierarchy where if I don't have a certain thing to report, I might as well not report at all.

But I KNOW where I'm at and I KNOW what I want. I know that it's a different journey and I'M okay with where I am. And that helps me answer this question without my hair bursting into flame. ;)