You Don’t Know What You’ll Write Until You Write It

Or: don’t name the car until you’ve bought it.

I won’t be working on that Otherkin project this year. In my post on the subject a few months back, I said that I wanted to write about it in some fictionalized form, and that’s still true. But I don’t yet know how I should. Should there be genre elements? Should it be a semi-fictional memoir? Short form? Long form? Until I can answer those questions to my satisfaction, I can’t make any progress on it. It’s just not ready.

More importantly, there are other projects that are farther along, things I can start immediately.

Authors vary on what they publicly announce. John Scalzi won’t say anything about a project until it’s nearly finished or close to publication. Elizabeth Bear has tallies of every manuscript she’s actively working on (though those could just be things she’s under deadline for). George R. R. Martin. . . I can’t imagine what torture you endure having that much public pressure to finish something.

I think I’ll just write about projects that I’m actually putting words to paper (or screen) on. I certainly won’t be promising or strongly indicating I’ll be writing this or that particular thing, unless I’m under deadline, and even then I should keep it to myself until I’m nearly done. I love transparency, especially from creators whose work I admire, but transparency doesn’t mean making writerly prognostication. Truth is, I just don’t know what I’ll write until it’s done.