For a creator like me, it’s usually fun to come up with a new and potentially entertaining story idea, plan and assemble the bones and flesh out the details. (Hmm… maybe I should have posted this during Halloween.) One of those ideas came to me last week, and—because I had a bit of time on my hands—I got busy brainstorming the bits and pieces. Before I knew it, I had a nicely-developed concept, ready to be let loose.
Unfortunately, reality started to set in once I had it developed… specifically, the reality of actually selling my new concept, which, as you all now know, has proven to be my nemesis and a lethal mood-breaker. As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve recently read through Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s posts about turning ideas into Intellectual Property (IP) and licensing that for profit. I’ll be honest: Kristine’s articles had put a deep, dark scare into me, because they implied I needed to turn myself into a salesman to sell my ideas… and as I’m willing to say, in as Doctor McCoy-ish a voice as I can manage, I’m a writer, not a salesman! Before the articles, I had already put any writing plans on indefinite hold until I could figure out what realistic promotion options (if any) I had. After reading them, I felt literally brain-frozen, unable to contemplate any possible way for me to continue on.
And so there I was, with a brand new and promising-sounding idea, but with total petrification thoroughly set in. What could/should I do, going forward? Was there a way I could get this raw idea off the ground? I had no idea. And until I had an idea, I couldn’t move forward.
Fortunately, I’ve continued to get encouragement from others who seem to like my work (really, it’s been the only thing that’s kept me from deleting every book I’ve ever written and taking up weed-pulling as a hobby. I wish more of those encouragers were actual readers… but hey, I’ll take what I can get). In this particular case, encouragement came via an inspiring phone call from Thaddeus Howze, an author I managed to connect with a few years back, who has managed to build a writing career, and make bankable income, by finding multiple short-form writing venues in which to showcase his talent and expertise. He called to explain how a similar strategy might work for me, and encouraged me to check them out.
Talking to Thaddeus helped to remind me that there are a lot of venues, ways to help promote my work, that I haven’t tried or gotten very far with yet, and people to help me better access those venues. He, as well as notable others cheering me from the stands, also helped me to appreciate that, as long as I have those venues to pursue, it’s not yet time for me to give up on writing.
Of course, none of these are quick fixes. (Mostly, in fact, they’re more like slow burns.) I still need help reaching those other venues, and time producing content that will work for them. But at least I have a direction… a new strategy… a way to thaw my brain-freeze. And that’s something.
Wait… what’s that you ask? What’s the idea? That would be telling (and no, it’s not a Prisoner reboot). I will say that it’s science fiction, set mostly outside of the Solar System, and intended to be a serious SF vehicle. Maybe soon I’ll be able to tell you more, but it’s too early in the process, and I don’t want to give too much away.
For now you’ll have to be satisfied that it’s an idea that isn’t being buried under a mound of ice.