Monday, January 9, 2012

To Tell Or Not To Tell?

by R.S. Mellette

Along the lines of Cat Woods's post on writer's superstitions, I'd like to hear the opinions of all the authors out there...

... do you tell, or keep quiet?

I'm talking about when you have sort-of news. Like, you get an e-mail from an agent who wants to know if you're open to making some changes to your manuscript.

... do you tell anyone?

Would that jinx it? You don't have the agent yet, so there really isn't anything new, but it's a better rejection than the last 57 non-responses you've got on Query Tracker.

And as you get more success, it gets harder.

Your agent is submitting to such-and-such a publisher. Do you tell your friends and family? You know you should be cool—like the football players who score a touchdown and DON'T spike the ball. "Act like you've been there before."

But you haven't!

Okay, so you won't say anything unless someone asks ... but there's always that jinx factor.

So, fellow artists. What do you think? When you've got sort-of news about your work ... do you tell? Who do you tell? Is there a jinx?

12 comments:

JeffO said...

I don't know! When I get to that point, I'll tell you.

Or maybe I won't.

Seriously, I am piecing together commentary from several readers so that I can have my MS ready to query, so I don't know what I'll do when it happens. I'm looking forward to having to make that decision, though.

RSMellette said...

Keep hanging out with this crowd and I'm sure you'll get there.

Rick said...

I don't necessarily believe in the jinx factor (although I'd never tell an actor "good luck" before s/he went on stage.) I might tell someone very close to me and my project. I wouldn't spread the news, more because I'd hate having to retract it later if it didn't pan out than because I'd be afraid of jinxing it. Why publicly mortify one's self? Private self-flagellation over public humiliation every time.

K Stepp said...

I am not at this point, yet. I can say from what I know about myself-I would tell my mom. I wouldn't tell anyone else, but it would be impossible to not tell her. Only because she's my best friend( and my best supporter) and if I had anything at all to report I would tell her. Can't say for sure if I would worry about jinxing it, but yeah, I would probably worry about that-but I would still tell her...

E.B. Black said...

I tell my family and my boyfriend. Rejection, acceptance, partial rejection, partial acceptance, or whatever, they are there for me every step of the way and it gets easier to handle all of it because I have a few people to talk to about it who are just there to listen so I can say whatever I want without ruining my reputation.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I have close friends/family I can tell some things to, which helps. But mostly no. :)

Suzanne Payne said...

I'm not sure. I think it would be on my mind so much, I'd probably tell the 3 girls I work with and my husband at first. Then, as the rejections piled up, I'd probably hold out to see what happens. When everybody knows, then they always ask about it and if it's not always good news, then it's harder to share.

Suzanne said...

I dont tell until it's a done deal....I'm very superstitious.

Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

Wow, how funny that we all wonder about this sort of thing! I don't announce things on my blog until they're done deals, but I do tell my family. Once when I came close to something big I wrote an embarrassing Facebook message to a whole bunch of friends and family telling them about it and then when nothing panned out I had to go back and say, "Uh, never mind!" In future, that experience is why I'll stay quiet ... just so I don't have to go back and tell so many people about my disappointments. :)

Mindy McGinnis said...

Great question! I dish to my crit partners, but that's about it. I think only fellow writers can understand the almost-so-close-shaves.

Jemi Fraser said...

Barely anyone in my 'real' world knows I write at all, so they only people I would probably tell would be my crit buddies! :)

Jean Oram said...

It depends. Tell my close crit buddies because they know all. And like Jemi, not many folks in my 'real' life know I write. But when I get a book contract, they'll hear about it!

As for a jinx--I think it is more a fear for me that'll I blab and then be like, "Oh, yeah. Nothing came of that."