I really want to tell you, but…

Starting a new writing project and hit an emotion I think is worth highlighting. It is…

The need for approval.

I’m going to be brutally honest here – I’m dying to tell you the outline of my new venture. I can’t wait to get your reactions on the characters and storyline.

Before I’ve even written a word, I’m desperate to know what you think of it all. In fact, I’m  burning with the desire to seek your approval.

STOP!

If you’re reading this and starting a new writing project you may have hit this very same emotional need. To tell other people what you’re doing before you have any tangible evidence of actually having written anything.

It’s called asking permission to be a writer – and as a writer, you don’t need it. Trust me.

The fact is…

Other people are ill-equipped to deal with your dawning thoughts, cerebral sketches and scatter-brain emotions as a writer on a new project.

If you do ask them for their view at this stage they’ll only feed back ideas that are equally as flighty and that’s the last thing you need.

Listen only to yourself.

The only approval you need to write is that from the voice in your own heart.

I suspect people who I’ve befriended through my writing confessionals probably think I’ve given up writing because I’ve stopped asking for premature opinion.

But let me tell you, this a good place to be – and the people I’ve confessed to previously will think this is a good place for me to be as well.

And the joy?

The joy of it all is in the “here’s my first draft”. You’ve done it, achieved the impossible, refined your vision into one coherent and completed writing project.

You’ve neither promised anyone anything nor bowed to any ill-informed opinion.

Whether it’s taken you six minutes, six months or six years to get to where you’ve got – and whether you’ve changed course, switched story or swapped characters during that time – it doesn’t matter, the baby is now yours to show the world.

So, about the new project I’m writing…

In an ideal world you wouldn’t even know I’m working on one. In fact, let’s just assume I’m not. So why the article?

This is purely for illustrative purposes, to show you the most rudimentary and important lesson I have learned during my fledgling writing career:

The world is only interested in what you’ve written- not what you’re thinking of writing.