I’ll admit it: I love talking about what I’m writing. I love sharing the plot, the characters, the idea with people who find the process and the story as fascinating as I do.

I expect that every writer is bent that way. I wonder, however, how many feel the pangs of guilt about it that I do.

That whole ego-driven “and then I wrote” personality ethos drives me nuts. I hate it in others and I hate it in myself.

So. How does that self-love/hate relationship coexist in one person?

The answer: uneasily.

I try not to push. I wait to be asked. Admittedly, I prompt that asking, sometimes. I invite it. Which sorta defeats the honest purpose of being asked. Pressed, I’ll even read you a passage. But only if you really, really want me to. And you do, don’t you?

The opportunity to share the story came at Salon the other night. Glorious K (who has read the first five chapters of the new book) asked me if I would mind sharing the story with her beloved Adam, who was new to the group.

Would I mind? Next, ask me if I’d mind breathing.

I was filled with gratitude for the ask. Gratitude and embarrassment. And maybe a little bit of shame that I was going to enjoy this so much. It was an unvoiced, open-ended invitation: Talk until I was done talking. Tell until I was done telling. Like offering sirloin to a starving animal.

Truth to tell, I am well-enough socialized to read my “audience”; to pull up well before the eye-rolling boredom sets in. My inclination is otherwise: Once the wheel gets greased, just stand out of the way.

Fortunately (both for me and for the gathered friends who were tolerant of me as I prattled on) the idea is pretty damned interesting. It gave rise to the deeper ideafests that are the substance of our gatherings. But, oh, for those few minutes, I was the happiest, most fulfilled woman on the planet. A little guilty, maybe. But delighted.

And what was that? What’s the story about, you asked? Well sure—I’ll be glad to talk about it….

 

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