Communications Advice: Please Shut Up

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As a writer and professional communicator, please allow me to share a secret for keeping enthusiasm and momentum going when you have a new project in the making:

Shut up.

I’m fortunate to be friends with a lot of highly creative writers, artists, musicians, and filmmakers. But a significant number never realize their full potential, and in fact, never actually finish many projects. It baffled me for a time, but then after years of observing them, I discovered the problem:

They can’t wait to talk about the new book, movie, or other project they’re working on, so they spill their guts too soon and too often. They cannot not talk about the project even when it is not formed yet.

They talk about it to every friend, co-worker, and family member. Over and over, they share what they’re doing. But like slowly deflating a balloon, by doing that, they let their passion and energy about the project leak out as well.

In my case, when I’m working on a new book, I keep it bottled up. Rather than sharing it with everyone, I fight the urge so it will pour out of me later at my writing desk. I’m a firm believer that during the creative process, you can only tell your story so many times before it becomes rote and boring, and you start to lose interest. And if that happens before the project is finished, you’re dead in the water. They enthusiasm you used to be able to convey is now gone and your work reads dull and boring.

Try it out. Next time you start on a project, resist the urge to talk about it. Instead, keep it bottled up and pour that passion and energy into the writing or creating of the project. Because on the page, the studio, or the stage is where it should be most alive.

And then once it’s finished, you can shout it from the housetops…

To Your Success…

Scott

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