I just learned a lesson about talking shop. One of my strongest supporters had sent me a note to say how fired up he felt about getting--soon--a beta readers copy of the new Boss MacTavin book.
Well, writing does get a bit lonely at times. And at other times, more than a bit. I shot back a cheery note about some live alligators I was wrestling with in the form of technical issues: sustained imagery, rhythm and pacing, etc. He sent back another note of playful exasperation: he had no idea what I meant by these things since he was a musician who read books because he loved reading. He wasn't angry or even upset. But he gave me an epiphany.
If I were to hear him play one day, I wouldn't need to know how long he'd worked on a song's arrangement...or how hard he'd had to train to reach a particular high note...or how he'd altered the song's bridge from major to minor to gain an effect. I'd know when I listened if the song worked for me.
And that's what matters, isn't it? In fact, the less we blather about the creative process, the better. No possible good can come from revealing the number of hours we spent on a book or the extent of our labors. The effort is part of our pact with the Muse. And secrecy should be a part of it too. We may have to pay in blood to make the final product seem natural and effortless.
But, all in all, art's worth the price. And the Muse makes a wonderful mistress.
So...let's all smile and shut the hell up.