When you’re writing a book, people have a tendency to ask questions you can’t answer (yet)…

Or say weird things that sometimes hurt (perhaps not meaning to)…

And even question your ability to achieve your dream (are they projecting?).

Sharing your book idea or process with just anyone can end up undermining your confidence.

And talking about your book too early can lead to a freeze reaction down the line.

But there are ways to talk about it that help you feel in community and don’t undermine you.

Being public with your ideas can land you an agent — as it did recently for a Book Proposal Academy client.

You just want to be intentional.

It’s a matter of proportion.

How much do you say? And, who do you say it to?

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Find your trusted listeners. These are people who are really, deeply on your side. They’re not secretly judging you or competing with you.

They don’t ask, “How’s the book going?” every time they see you.

They’re open to talking about the book when you need to.

They might even be first readers of your pages.

Identify who these people are in your world. There may only be one or two.

2. Write to a trusted writing partner. This is a fun way to get around the inner critic.

Writing a letter or an email does not expose you too much, yet it does allow you to figure some things out.

It also has the benefit of allowing you to talk about the book while also—potentially—writing content that’s in the book.

3. Start teasing out content to audiences—in a limited way. This may seem counter intuitive. But getting in front of a receptive audience can do wonders for how you talk about your story, your method, your passion or your vision.

First, you’ll have to gather your ideas. That’s helpful.

Then, you can float some facts and stories — and see how people respond.

You’re not locked in to anything. You’re free to experiment.

Hearing what people respond to can give you a welcome dopamine boost that helps you keep writing.

(Just be careful not to keep chasing the dopamine and avoiding writing!)