Beyond the Idea


I’ve honed enough energy and fortitude to will my fingers into creating four novels. I’ve started three others and have numerous passages afloat in my head not yet set to keyboard or paper. All of this began with a singular idea which festered and grew.

Have any of these novels seen the light of day and gone to print—nope. The fourth one I finished in December finally feels like a winner. The trudge through the editing process has far less screaming hair-tearing moments than anything prior. But I wouldn’t be able to bask in this glorious stage of ‘hey this project that bled into months of my life isn’t total shit’ without an idea which tantalized me until it needed to pour out of me.

   If there is one facet of writing where people stumble, it’s the idea—this is utterly important.

I’m flattered when others take interest in my currently unpaid career of writing. Sometimes there is a genuine thrill in their eyes and I can’t help feel a little flutter in my stomach. But then there are the times of, ‘I have this idea.’

I love this part. If you’re willing to share an idea with me than I know there’s some sense of passion behind the thought. I straddle the line between passion and the need to write, but without an idea, none of it would come to fruition. Once I’m done listening to their pitch for an idea, I smile and say, “now go write.” Sometimes excuses ensue. Sometimes the curiosity billows in their eyes and I know they will write when they depart from my company. Sometimes they seek advice on where to begin. Each scenario I’ve seen, some more than others.

   Get beyond the idea for the world is filled with them.

If this idea gnaws at you with each passing day and you find yourself thinking through scenarios, get to writing. You’ll know when it’s ready, ideas need time to gestate, it’s how the good ones stay and the bad ones leave you all together.

Seeking advice should not be the antithesis of what I feel the a-want-to-be fledgling writer should aspire to. It shows dedication to the process and it shows vulnerability. It has taken me a long time to realize asking for help isn’t a sign of inability, but a sign of yearning growth. No one’s a master the first time they put pen to paper or finger to keyboard. Seek and then indulge. Your first manuscript will probably be muddled shit. If you think it’s golden it’s just fool’s gold glimmering in the eyes of accomplishment. But don’t dismay. You learn, you enhance the craft, you find a plethora of ways to scrutinize your work, and you become better. Congratulations you’re a writer. Cash or no cash you’re on the road to self-doubt and agonizing days of why the hell am I trying to do this—I promise it’s worth the weight of the tears.

If I leave you with anything, don’t be excuse dude or dudette. If you have an idea, go beyond it and begin your journey.  You can do it. Can you do it well—only one way to find out.



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