This happens all the time: I’m out somewhere and I meet a new person who is excited to hear that I’m a writer and a writing coach. The person claims she is “not yet” a writer, but has “great ideas”. Then she proceeds to tell me her great ideas. I listen. She pauses – asking me to evaluate her pitch. “Isn’t that great?”
It may, in fact, be intriguing. But, to me, that’s not the point.
There are a million ways to drain the energy from one’s writing life. There’s procrastination, and self-doubt, self-sabotage, and self-judgment. If you’re a busy person, you could use that as an excuse for not showing up at the page (or REALLY showing up at the page). Dedication is key. And dedication can be difficult.
Another way to drain the energy is TELLING SOMEONE YOUR STORY IDEA. For me, ideas are delicate and personal. If I expose them too early, they die of over-exposure. (Ok, that’s a bit dramatic.) Here’s what I mean: Part of every writer thrills at the notion of audience appreciation. It feels good to have people who dig what you’re up to in your screenplays, plays and tele-plays. Part of what we usually want is to get the affirmation that the work is good. (We, of course, can’t get this from everyone, because not everyone will like what we do.) If the thrill of being affirmed is part of what we’re after, that thrill can be dissipated. If we TELL our ideas in search of that rush – and we GET that rush from the telling – why bother writing at all? We’re already getting a chunk of what we’re after. In the face of that, who wants to put in hours and hours of sweat and creative energy on the same story?
Give your story a chance to live.
I have a firm policy not to share my ideas until I have something written. I set a boundary until I have a script and then I may ask someone to read it, rather than give the juicy story away verbally. I invite you to do the same.
At the end of the day, you’re a writer. Shouldn’t you be getting your ideas down rather than just telling them to people?
If the answer is yes: Go! Write!
And if you need help along the way, you know where to find me.