Monday, July 12, 2010

You vs. The Big Idea

My little brother recently informed me that our diva dog is in love.

With a male three times her size.

And a very loud bark.

*face palm*

Naturally, I likened my diva dog's infatuation to writing. I'm currently working on a manuscript that's challenging me in more ways than one. The genre isn't my forte, the voice is too dark for my funny bone, etc. Why am I writing it, you ask?

Because I wanted to take on The Big Idea.

Let me explain. The Big Idea is that project you can't stop thinking about, but prefer to leave behind for a much more comfortable story. Let's say you write contemporary YA, but a dystopian slips through your mind's cracks and won't let go. You think it's out of your league. It is the toughest thing you will ever plot in your life. Everyone always says to write what you know, anyway. Because of this, you convince yourself you can't pull it off. Only Cormac McCarthy and Suzanne Collins can do it, but not you. You're not as talented as they are.

But The Big Idea looks so good in your head. All those scenes would be great on paper. To you, they're the very definition of awesome. You're just not up to par with it.

Here's a tip: you're wrong.

If you can dream it, you can do it. The Big Idea is in your head, and only you can write it. Literature is not about being safe. What's it about, then? Way too many things to mention here, but one of those things is balls.

Yep. I said it. Writers need balls.

And apparently, chocolate. But that's for another post.

I encourage every writer out there to be like my diva dog--stop comparing and start embracing. Trust me, she'd embrace the heck out of that T-Rex if I let her, and the threat of being eaten by him doesn't faze her in the slightest.

So tell me, have you ever had The Big Idea? Did you put it aside, or did you face it with your head held high?


  1. I really needed this post today. I'm going to go for it. Thank you!

  2. Yes...I've come up against that BIG IDEA...even written a blog post about it trying to give the idea away to somebody more capable...but here it remains on a scribble of paper. Someday, maybe. Someday.

  3. I love this post so hard. You're so inspirational! I think I've had my Big Idea. It's more of a Medium-sized Idea, really. I've decided to hold off on it for a while, but you've convinced me to try again! C:

  4. Yay for your diva dog!!!! A little cutie with BIG DREAMS and by golly she ain't gonna settle for anything less!! Good for her!!

    And good for you for stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing the Big Idea!! Don't let go now - just run with it!!

    take care

  5. Great post. I'm writing my BIG IDEA. It kills me to write. It's a series and it challenges me to look at my own thoughts/emotions about things that have happened or could happen in my life. The story is an integration of so many things that it is seriously challenging. It's hard because it makes me feel more than I want it too, sometimes.

    But.... I'll never put my big idea away.

  6. I love those big ideas. They make the best wips. Of course I always have to write them down and then store them until I have time. =)

  7. it hit me in the past, so wrote a 200+ page screenplay about it ;) lol