Have you ever had an idea for a new story, told a friend or family member and been on the end of a comment which goes something like this:
‘OMG – your new book idea sounds like it could be a bestseller’?
Nice as it sounds, this sort of positive feedback on an unfinished story idea can creatively cripple a writer and kill an idea. It is the kiss of death comment for a writer.
Any form of strong praise for a book idea from a friend, work colleague or a family member can lead to certain writers:
- Getting carried away with a writing related daydream where their story idea is turned into a Hollywood blockbuster…and not doing any actual writing.
- Placing unnecessary stress on themselves.
- Killing the story idea in their head. Try labelling one of your ideas as a ‘bestseller’ and watch your creativity dry up.
- Being deluged with self-doubt – telling themselves they can’t carry on writing a ‘bestseller’.
- Talking about an unfinished idea before it is ready to be talked about.
- Forgetting writing is subjective and getting upset when others don’t agree with the person who gave them the strong praise.
- Relying too much on the feedback and not challenging themselves or the story,
- Forgetting that the friend or family member has no literary experience.
- Struggling to finish the story idea as the pressure of writing a ‘bestseller’ becomes too great.
- Being upset at the final version of the story idea, once its written, as it doesn’t sound like a bestseller.
- Forgetting that the friend of family member has been placed in an awkward position and probably has no idea of what to say to an unbaked story idea. The comment is simply a knee jerk reaction from a non-writer who is just being nice.
- Giving themselves false hopes.
- Never following the bestselling idea through.
The moral of this story is to keep tight-lipped about your new story idea until it is written into a draft manuscript. Treat it like a secret.
If you do happen to let slip the premise of your story idea, quickly stick your fingers in your ears and go ‘LA LA LA’.
Take care out there writers