From this list of Gone with the Wind trivia:
“Though Mitchell spent the next decade working on characters and plot development, almost no one knew she was writing a book. She went to extreme lengths to hide her work from friends and family, including hurriedly throwing a rug over pages scattered on her living room floor once when company showed up unexpectedly.”
I don’t talk a lot about my writing with people who are non-writer friends. It can even feel weird if they ask “What’s your book about?” or “How’s the writing going?” Usually they ask out of genuine interest and enthusiasm, but it can be hard to explain the writing process to someone who hasn’t done it before. (Plus the day-to-day work of me sitting at a computer isn’t glamorous.) And I don’t tend to show my work to people who are non-writer friends.
I think there’s a lot to be said for keeping your work private. Once it’s published and out in the world, it belongs to other people. It’s not yours anymore. But while you’re still writing, it’s yours in a very special way. Sharing that with lots of people can dilute your enthusiasm in some way.
Or maybe that’s just Margaret Mitchell and me. Do you tend to share your work with family and friends?