I’ve heard a lot recently about “too many ideas” as a sort of syndrome authors can have, along with the companion problems of never wanting to actually write and being sooo busy with other things. Are there really too many ideas? I wouldn’t think anyone sensible could claim that most people these days are overburdened with IDEAS. A lack of them seems more of a problem.
Yes, it’s true there’s no such thing as too many ideas. But what writers mean by this is that they have no clue if their book really has an audience. In another decade or another country perhaps that idea might have readers—but here maybe it’s not hitting the current button. That’s all having “too many ideas” really means. I’m not fond of the phrase ideas are cheap because the people who talk like that find it easy to say that because they have no ideas except ripoffs they got from other people—which ARE cheap, like anything second-hand.
Actually the opposite is true—ideas can become expensive. If you publish book after book and aren’t clear on whether there’s an audience you waste money and energy putting the book out for nothing. As I’ve examined each of my books a driving concept has been to determine which of my many ideas, lovely as they all are, are meeting the needs of readers right now. A lack of clarity leads many authors to just throw lots of books out there rapidly in the hope something catches on. This, while hardworking, is somewhat akin to playing darts in a pitch dark room. Anyone who tries to do that could never be accused of being lazy—I can think of few things more difficult--but they are also wasting their time.
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I live surrounded by cultivated fields that rapidly give way to wild flowers, wild plants, and wild life. I get most of my ideas while drifting innocuously around my house and some of those ideas get into print.
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