Should You Tell People You're Writing A Novel? Reddit Users Offer Their Tips

Writer's block is arguably the worst thing that can happen to an aspiring author, but coming in at a close second is the frustration of dealing with this question: Should you tell people you're writing a novel? Replying to TheWayDenzelSaysIt on the r/writing subreddit, many redditors expressed reluctance to talk to non-writers about their pet projects. Their answers are both relatable and informative, and I've picked out some of the best for you to take a look at below.

The Internet can be a terrible place, and Reddit gets a bad reputation for housing some of the 'Net's most repugnant denizens, but places like r/writing are safe havens for hobbyists and creatives looking for communities based around their crafts. Seriously, if you're a writer who has no writing friends, hop on Reddit and get you some. Building a strong support network is one of the best things you can do to make sure you achieve your goals, especially if you enjoy writing challenges like NaNoWriMo and StoryADay.

TheWayDenzelSaysIt's post stirred up a lively conversation in r/writing, which you can read in full here. Keep scrolling to read the best advice the thread had to offer aspiring authors who feel conflicted when talking about their work.

Don't Say Anything If You Don't Want To Be Like Everyone Else

One consensus seemed to be that, because writing a novel is a trendy thing to do, telling people that you're trying to get published is tantamount to announcing to the world just how "basic" you are. I say, forget that. Tell people or don't, but don't make your decision based on what other, unrelated writers do and say.

Beware Telling People If You've Been Writing For A While

Several redditors advised others against telling people about their manuscripts, simply because being in the awkward position of "writing a novel" for five or 20 years can be socially painful.

Speaking from a personal standpoint, this does not feel as bad if you have finished a manuscript or two in those years. I have not published a book, but I have drafted two novellas and several short stories, and I don't mind telling people so.

Tell Your Parents And Your Partner, Provided They Will Support Your Writing

This should go without saying, but if you grew up without good, loving, and supportive parents or guardians, you should not feel obligated to tell the people who raised you about your writing. And if your partner doesn't support your authorial aspirations, then why are you with them? The people in your inner circle should know what your writing dreams are about. If you can't trust them not to mock or belittle you for writing stories, they don't belong in your inner circle.

Decide Whether You Want To Be A "Writer" Now, Or Later

A few redditors expressed anxieties over telling people that they write without having a book on store shelves. I think that's silly, because "writer" and "published author" are two completely different things. It's up to each of us to decide when and whether we identify as writers, however, and you aren't wrong either way.

Telling People Who Care Can Be A Boon To Your Motivation

Motivation is fickle, but if social pressure from others is what you need to keep you going, then set up that peer pressure network and get to work!