Your writing is a very personal thing, and you want to make sure you have spent the appropriate amount of time on a piece before presenting it to the world. However, there are some people who will want to view your drafts, or simply discuss things with you along the way. It can be simple to do this with other writers, as they can understand the process that you are going through to create something you are proud of. However, it can be a bit more difficult when it comes to doing so with friends and family who aren’t involved in the industry.
To explain things to them in a way they will understand, you will need to think about what each individual is really asking of you. Chances are, they are simply making conversation. Asking about work is a common way to catch up with someone and isn’t thought of as a personal question in most circles. It just so happens that a story you are working on may be a bit more difficult to explain than what’s going on in other positions that people are more familiar with.
In this case, a simple answer to the question is often what the individual is looking for, since they simply want to make sure you are doing well and show you that they care about your life.
You should also think about what you are willing to share about your work ahead of time, in case the person you are talking with really wants details. Some pieces may be fun to talk about and can easily be explained in a few short sentences. Others will be more complicated and may still be in a stage where lots of changes are likely to happen, so you may just want to give an answer that offers the person you are speaking with the bare bones of the situation.
Your answer may also by influenced by what you are allowed to share regarding the project. You may sometimes need to keep things to yourself even if you would be excited to share some news. It’s important to adhere to your contractual agreements, even when it comes to friends and family, as the organization you are writing for is counting on you to do so.