What You’re Working On

I have a bad habit of blabbering about my projects that are in the works. If you ask me, I’ll probably tell you. Sometimes I’ll even send you an early draft. Why not, right?

It’s tricky. You want to share your ideas. You think they’re so great, but it’s easy to get derailed. Usually the person asking is your target audience. If telling them means anything, it’s that you are creating something for them and not just yourself. I get the adage, “Write what you want to read,” but if you’re going to be putting your work in a public venue, it’s best to also keep other people in mind. Still, I’ve heard a lot of opinions on this subject.

I’ve had professors in the past tell the class that they’ll never tell anyone what they’re working on until it’s done. I tend to wait until the first draft, at least. It makes it easier to get help. On the unfortunately not-so-rare occasion I tell someone my idea of what I want to work on, I’ll see their face drop. They might try to backpedal the expression by reassuring me, but that moment is when the idea begins to die nonetheless.

“Oh no! Is this a bad idea?! I shouldn’t do this, should I?” – Me or something I might be heard saying sometimes.

What you need to know here is: It’s ok. It happens.

Self-doubt becomes prevalent in the above scenario. In these situations it’s best to keep the understanding that most people don’t know as well as you do. Their reaction shouldn’t dictate the death of an idea. What it should do is make you question the idea. Is there something else you can do with it? Any tweaking that will improve it? If you can’t think of anything, then forget their face.

If a person verbally says that it’s a bad idea, it’s ok to feel bad. They’re being mean. Disregard. Their opinion should no longer be considered valid. If they share with you why it’s bad, and it makes sense, then, again, improve it. All that said, you might be like me, sharing it with people you know whose opinions are heavily weighted for you. If this is the case, then you have two options: 1. give up or 2. continue, despite them.

I had an idea to write a humor essay about being discriminated as a left-handed person. My friend looked at me, shook his head, and said, “No, that wouldn’t work.” I let the idea go. Clearly. I might still do it. Probably not. But you never know! It wouldn’t be to spite this person, but to see if it does work or not.

Positivity and Recommendations for all!

On the other hand, you may run into validation too. It’s rare but beneficial. People can put you into gear to do better. Funny how being positive can have a positive effect on others, right? It’s good to be positive back, if the situation allows.

What I’d recommend is not being an asshole, but you do you. There’s no guarantee as to how people will react, except maybe for parents.

What do you do if someone tells you their idea? It’s usually enough to tell someone, “That sounds interesting.” For added effect, an affirming pat on the back or side hug can be good too, depending on the person and where your relationship is. Physical contact is not always recommended.

Here’s where I’m putting a conclusion.

At the very least, give yourself the benefit of the doubt. Write it out, draw it, sculpt it, throw it, etc., and see how things go. Don’t put yourself in a place wondering about what would have happened if you’d created that thing someone didn’t seem enthusiastic about. Other people could like it, after all. One person is not a reason. One person is an excuse that you use to not do something.

So, good luck. Whichever way you choose to go, I wish you the best. I hope you do amazing things!