Secretive Writing

Secretive Writing
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Are you one of those writers who can write almost any place? You find it easy to get your muse going in a coffee shop, at the mall, or while riding the bus? I’m jealous. I’d be so distracted by my irrational suspicions of someone looking over my shoulder.

I didn’t have this qualm when I was younger. During my school years, I usually sat in the first row not giving any thought to what the kid behind me was doing. When I was in my twenties, there were occasions where I’d plop my butt down at McDonald’s with a Coke and write for an hour or two in a personal journal, never thinking someone might see what I’m writing.

Now I find it hard to write when my husband is at home, even if he’s in a different room. Where did all of this covertness come from? Have I gotten more insecure in my old age? Or could it be I’ve gotten more stubborn about what I want–quiet? Or is it that I can’t get to that space where I’m ultimately comfortable writing? In truth, I think it’s a little of all.

It used to be my physical challenges were just that, challenges. As the years have gone by, these struggles have gotten a bit more severe making me apprehensive in more situations. Sure, there’s usually a kind person about whose willing to help me out, but I’m an independent soul, always have been. Me asking for help is like you asking someone to break your arm are for you. The thought of not being self-efficient is a pill I’m having problems swallowing. So instead of taking the risk of needing help at the local McDonald’s or coffee shop, I do all my writing at home where I know I can maneuver under my own power without assistance.

Well, that explains a little bit, but still, this need for solitude still gnaws at me.

I want my writing to be my own. I don’t want suggestions about what my story should be about. This isn’t to say I don’t want selected people to tell me where they think I’m flubbing up, although, as I stated, these people are ones I select. They’re special to me because I respect and trust their knowledge, opinions, and intentions. So far, there are only two people I feel this way about. If I ever get past a second draft, I’ll be calling on these two for critiques. Until then I’m held fast in keeping my “baby” with me.

Does this say I’m bullheaded? Probably. I come by it naturally.

My writing space is far from ideal. Sometimes I get so irked at this cramped corner in the computer room that I go browsing through the pages of the HGTV site to dream about my perfect writing space. Of course, HGTV doesn’t have what I really want. That look is only in my head. Anyway, what I have is barely sufficient, giving me feelings of inadequacy as a writer. I know, it shouldn’t make a difference. Tell that to the emotional side of my brain. It isn’t listening to me.


And maybe that’s what it all boils down to. I’m secretive because I don’t think too much of myself as a writer. Oh sure, some of you will say I’m doing just fine with my abilities at the craft. I’d love to agree with you but when I look at what I write… It just doesn’t cut it.

Because I’m so stubborn, though, I’ll continue to pound on the keys. My preoccupation with it won’t allow me to do any less.

One of these days I’ll break through the wool of my cowardice and show what I work on so diligently.

“You have to stop and freeze the moment,” he told me I had told her. “You have to make yourself remember by repeating it in your head over and over. You have to write to preserve your sanity.” ― Jenny Hubbard, Paper Covers Rock


12 thoughts on “Secretive Writing

  1. I tend to be more secretive when I’m less confident. I was recently given a project at work that is a little out of my comfort zone. I worked on it quietly, until I liked it and then I started asking for input. Knowing when to make that turn is difficult, but making the turn is important. Sometimes, you really do need input and encouragement, I wish you good luck in 2017, Glynis.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. G. R. McNeese

    I can relate to being secretive. I think that’s always been an issue with me, whether I’m in a coffee shop or at home. I’m so self-conscious. And I keep a lot of what I write to myself. (My wife being the lone exception.) But I am trying to change that. I’m working on being more open to critiques from complete strangers. Submit stories to contests and magazines. I realized that if I’m going to improve as a writer, I need to be more open with my work.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I haven’t submitted to magazines for years. I know I should get back into it but I’ve been so preoccupied with my WiP. I find I have less of an issue showing my work to strangers than I do to people I know well.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not secretive where I write because I can only write at home – only own a huge old fashioned desk top, don’t have a laptop or tablet. Since I can’t haul my Hummer version of a computer to Twinkle Bucks, I write at home. But I’ve gotten more nervous about theft recently, and finally popped my ID and credit cards into one of those wallets that are supposed to protect you from hackers. My computer won’t fit.

    I like music in the background as it creates white noise, but don’t mind hubby banging around the house with his projects. He doesn’t look over my shoulder, but doesn’t mind interrupting me for chats and family business needs. That’s the price of marriage, being in tune to my spouse even when I’m in the midst of a fabulous passage.

    As for this, Glynis: when you break out of your wool, cowardly or private, I will be excited to read your work. Don’t let yourself fall down that dark and lonely circular file of no return. (I know – mixed metaphors.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL 😀

      I could probably tell husband to leave me completely alone between certain hours. He’d try to do it too. However, I would end up feeling bad about it, and that would serve me at all.

      I keep all writing in one of the three free clouds I have. That way, if my desktop [yes, that’s my preferred] crashes or whatever, my writing is still available. Also, doing this, if I have to buy a new desktop, I’m all set to start pounding on the keys again.

      I’ve already decided that you and another online friend are going to be the first to critique my work once I get a third version done. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I work best with as little background noise as possible, though I’ll go to a public place once in a blue moon to take observation notes. That’s always fun and sparks some interesting ideas. If I lived a bit closer to Boise, I would join the Shut up and Write group that gets together once a week to write in silence for two hours at a meeting room in a coffee shop.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. i have a laptop and have learned to write lots of different places, though at first I didn’t think I could. I can even write in noisy, bustling airports. Doing so helps me fill long waits. I’m very secretive about my writing until I’ve polished it to the point I think it is worth showing, then, through doing so, I’ve learned to show it to a few trusted others and to not get defensive when they give me feedback, which also was hard for me at first. I wish you luck. I know its hard to figure things out.I hope in 2017 you make the progress with your writing you would like to make.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I work on a first revision, I’ve pondered on who I will allow to read and critique it. So far, I have found two people I feel comfortable with. I know they’ll be straightforward with me without being cruel, and will probably be extremely constructive. Yes, I do think I’m a little like you, wanting to share but careful about who the first one are.

      I hope 2017 is marvelous for you.


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