I recently found this amazing writing group on Facebook called–Ninja Writers. I wasn’t out looking for a group, to be honest, I gave up hope of finding a group of writers to work, learn, play, and grow with a long time ago . Not that they don’t exist, but I’ve never had much luck online or in the really real word setting down roots. (I do have some amazing people in my life, though, who encourage the hell out of me. For them, I am grateful.)
So, I find this group run by Shaunta Grimes accidentally while I’m looking up info on using a tri-fold to created a plot board. I sign up and immediately like what I see. People interacting, helping, encouraging, etc.–It’s fantastic!
I really do feel that it’s important to have a safe harbor when you’re writing because if you don’t–if you start to feeling alone. Suddenly when people ask what you’re working on, they’re spies waiting to steal your ideas–you’ll never succeed as a writer with this mindset. It will destroy you.
Last week I was scanning the feed of the group and a spotted a post from a member stating that they felt their idea was lifted off a different website years ago. As they read a book they watched their ideas play out in this popular series, their heart sank–years of hard work down the drain.
That’s what the post said.
That is the wrong way of thinking about it, and here is why:
There are over 7 BILLION people on this planet. I’m throwing that out there to dispel the belief we are some how alone in all our thoughts. Yes, if we don’t say them out loud they’ll remain hidden in the dark recesses of our brain–but 7 billion is a large number. Chances are someone has already had the same thought you’re having right now. And now. And now…
You say, “I’m ruined! They published my idea!!” and I say, “You’re on to something.”
If you see something that resembles the ideas you’re working on–guess what? Your idea has merit. It’s marketable. You just found a comp. Finish your story.
To quote Ben Yoskovits, “If no one else is already working on the idea you have, there’s a good chance it’s a bad one.”
This isn’t a bad thing–it’s a little mark on the treasure map of traveling from Point “A” (concept) to Point “Z” (finding and agent and your idea published.)
Failure is part of the process. Set backs happen. If giving up is still an option, maybe you don’t want it bad enough. If you just read that sentence and replied “But I DO want it bad!!” Then get back to writing. You, my friend, found a good idea–and I can’t wait to read it when you’re done. But I can’t do that if you quit, now can I?
Never give up! Never surrender!