The Writer’s Wheel 9/8/19: Telling Others Your “Secrets,” Should You?
No, I’m not talking about personal secrets here. What I am referring to is your tricks of the trade so to speak, or your writing knowledge.
Is it Good to Share?
I, personally, think so. Again, talking about writing knowledge here not intimate secrets. When I started writing, there were no podcasts, no blogs, no info other than the Writer’s Digest books about writing. I had to get old high school English books to study my craft. Nowadays, there’s so much information available at the press of your keyboard. You still need to study craft. In fact, I’d say: it’s the most important thing to do with your extra time. You can’t know how to manipulate things if you don’t know what the rules are.
Is it Safe?
Of course. Writing knowledge is meant to be shared, to help the next one in line. Everyone has their own way of doing things. Not everything works the same for everyone else. Find your own method. Teach others a thing or two. Use your knowledge for good. Why do you think there are tips from the likes of Neil Gaiman, J.K. Rowling, and Stephen King to name a few? They want to help other authors with the secrets they discovered.
Will You Become Famous?
Hard to say. You could. Others have before you. Others will after you. It’s all a stroke of luck to get where you want to in publishing. Some of the best writers never make it. Not because they’re not talented, but because they give up to soon. I know it’s a struggle, doing something you may never get paid for, never see published under your byline. Believe me, I know. I’ve spent many years tracing this dream and some days it seems so far away from happening. I know there are other authors who feel the same. I’ve encouraged the majority of them. Some have still turned away from the effort. Writing is hard, yes but it can be enjoyable, it can be therapeutic, and it can be rewarding. I don’t know what I’d do with all the stories inside me if I gave up. Would they just fizzle away? I couldn’t stand that.
Will it backfire on you?
Maybe. But really, we’re just sharing what we’ve learned. That might not even work for some other writers. Everyone is different and what might work for one doesn’t for another. That’s why you learn to choose and piece together advice from different authors. And the truth is, every project is different. You have to learn the secrets of how this story is going to play out. You may pants it. You may outline. Neither way is wrong. In fact, there are benefits to both. I pantstered my first six books then a friend told me about outlining. I’ve tried it and I really like it. It gives me a goal; it gives me focus.
To Sum it All Up.
Sharing in this case can be good. It helps you mentor someone else and they in turn teach you something new. Yes, we can learn from newbies as well as veteran writers. It’s all in how you approach it. So, don’t be afraid to help another writer. They’re not competition. They’re future talent that just might be able to help your writing career in some way.
Have a great day, take care, and God Bless!