Silence is not golden; it is infinite. Silence holds everything–every thrilling and dreadful possibility–like the vastness of space. The possibility you latch onto may well depend on where you think you stand staring up the stars. Are you part of something grand or are you an insignificant speck?
Or more importantly–do your friends think you’re a good writer or do they think you’re another deluded crackpot?
When my friends (and these friends are the people in my real, non-internet life, not the disembodied friends I’ve met in cyberspace) say nothing about my work, I’m an insignificant speck. I couple years ago I sent a group of friends copy of my first novel. Since then I’ve torn the novel apart. I cut 40,000 words. Combined a few characters into one. Added a dramatically different plot twist and changed the ending. Conversations about the rewrite tended to go like this.
“So, I rewrote that novel you read. Like really. I cut 40 thousand words and changed the ending!”
“Oh wow. That’s good. Say, did I tell you I finally got to see that movie this weekend. You know, the one about…”
People have busy lives with children with constant demands, bosses with endless requests, bills that keep coming, and dirt that continues to accumulate. Reading anything beyond their email is a challenge. Look at the numbers of people who are bothering to read books at all–forget books by their friends.
I’ve written about this silence before, but the angst still hasn’t gone away. Probably never will. But when I’m in the middle of writing, I am part of something grand, another star in the universe. When I notice the silence, I am a speck. Of course, if I did hear anything, the words might well be ones I don’t want to hear.
Be careful what you wish for.
So, who do you share your writing with and what do you expect?
Sparkle, sparkle, little star.