Sunday, January 26, 2014

Birthing Our Stories

In her wonderfully honest A Broom of One's Own, writer Nancy Peacock talks about the importance of containment for giving birth to the stories inside us. Frittering away our energy in talking about them before our stories are ripe to share almost guarantees that they won’t see the light of day.

Peacock says: “Stories want to be born, but they aren’t attached to the form that they take. A story is just as content to be told orally as it is to be written. If I go around telling it to everyone, it’s happy and gone. The tension is over. Talking about a work in progress to anyone but the most carefully chosen people is a death knell.”

I think this goes for any creative work – using up energy in discussing the work before there is anything solid to discuss – stalls the creative process and runs us aground.

What do you think? Is there any creative project that suffered because you shared it too soon? 


  1. I can just share my views as an actor... no actually... the more I share and take the feedback.. I feel my act gets better...

    1. I agree Hersh. Feedback really helps a lot. I usually write one draft, then revise and then share it to get feedback. But if you share your work in very early stages, when it's a small seed, not everyone can see the potential in it. Criticism can kill creative work. And also, talking about something prematurely almost gives you a feeling that you've done it - it gives you a small hit of accomplishment. I was reading an article that talked about how that early positive feeling actually makes it less likely that you'll continue.

      But, of course, the creative process is unique and individual to who you are. So, it's good to do what works for you!