Public Versus Private Writing


To write well, you must experiment. There might be those who can write genius without practice, but who really believes that?

I get nervous when I present new work for the first time to readers. The advanced readers copy is a special piece of work. It means the first comments from someone who doesn’t live in my head. The work becomes public.

So I started thinking about public versus private writing. Private writing stays hidden in the basement of my computer. A room where only I have the key. Okay so it’s a password, but what the hey.

This is the place where I can write whatever I want without worrying about whether someone else will like it. I love this place. It’s a fun place to be where the imagination can soar.

Without private writing, I don’t think I would ever have finished a novel.

Do you have secret writing?


6 thoughts on “Public Versus Private Writing

  1. This post really got me thinking.
    It seems to me that most of my writing starts out as secret writing.
    My morning words, for one thing, are my private sandbox, to kick around story ideas, rant about life not being fair, or talk to my characters. Most of the time those words stay in there, but there have been times when I reread something and realized that is exactly what I needed my character to say, or that is a really cool plot twist. Even blog posts start out there.

    All my first drafts are, in a way, secret too, because no one will see them until I revise them. It is almost like I have pact with the ‘muse’. As long as I don’t have to show this stuff to anyone, I can write something that doesn’t make sense, or sounds odd. It makes the writing super fun, like you say.
    The really cool thing is, the stuff that scares me a little when I write for myself is often the part of the story that shines brightest in revision. 🙂


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