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Ideas: Not as Rare as You Think

You know who has ideas? Everybody. Every damned day.

Many writers tend to put a huge amount of emphasis on their ideas. They carry little notebooks with them everywhere. They sleep with a notebook beside the bed. I mean — what if you have an amazing idea and you forget to write it down? Shock, horror!

Personally, I’ve done this many times. Woken at night and had a great idea, and expected I’d remember it in the morning. Of course, come morning, it was gone. Ah well, no harm, no foul.

The truth is, ideas are a dime a dozen, and they aren’t great ideas until you do something with them. I wonder how many people reading this have had wonderful ideas that they’ve held on to over the years? Ideas are nothing if they aren’t utilised.

The other thing is… do you really have an original idea? Whether you do or you don’t doesn’t matter in the end — even if your idea roughly amounts to the same basic premise as Romeo and Juliet, this time it’s you that’s telling the story, with your emotions, your feelings, your preferences, your locations, and your characters. Whatever you do, it will be yours, and you should be proud.

So don’t sit on your ideas waiting for something original — it may never come. And even if it does, certain aspects will most definitely be derivative. The world is too old, and the amount of works too vast for any one idea to be wholly original, so let it go.

You know what makes a really great idea? Development. No idea starts out perfect, it takes time to work an idea into something better. You’ll know you have a truly good idea when you want to start developing it further. And once you do? Write that damned book.

Tell your story, otherwise your idea is just that. An idea. And nothing more.

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