Make good on your ideas. The first four words in the previous sentence often relate to fulfilling your word or promise.
But, what if we applied those same words to the many ideas that writers come up with? It would sound exactly like the title of this post, “Make good on your ideas.”
Thomas Edison said, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” If we applied this to writers the ratio would be 1% ideas and 99% perspiration. Whether it is inventive genius or an idea for a book; there is little doubt that it takes hard work to bring either of them to fulfillment.
What’s so hard about writing?
The act of writing itself may not actually be the hardest part. However, getting past the internal gatekeeper, time wasters, and personal obligations that interfere with writing can be hard. Sitting in the chair and completing the word count for the day can be hard. Writing that ugly first draft can be hard. Completing the much needed revision can be hard. Submitting the manuscript and waiting for a response can definitely be hard. One way to move past all this hard work is to view writing ideas with the same level of commitment as making a promise. A promise made first and foremost to self, but also to agents, publishers, and readers. What is the hardest part about writing? Saying, “I’ll take this story idea all the way to fulfillment; I’ll make good on this idea.”
Doing the uncomfortable is hard work
In our post, “5 Rules for Writers,” we talked about the resistance in doing what our brains conceive as being uncomfortable. “What will people think? Will there be bad reviews? Who am I to think I can write a book? What if I can’t get the plot right?” These are signals that our brain is saying writing a book is risky business. Overcoming resistance, getting out of the comfort zone is very much a part of the 99% perspiration. Repeat out loud… “I’ll take this story idea all the way to fulfillment; I’ll make good on this idea.”
A challenge to make good on your ideas
We’re throwing out a challenge. Pick one book idea and make good on that idea. Do whatever it takes to finish the first draft. Then continue on through revising the manuscript. Determine whether the book will be self-published or submitted to a traditional publisher using an agent and make it happen. Do the marketing and promotion for the book. Whatever the task, commit to doing the 99% hard work it takes to bring that one idea to fulfillment.
Then, when it’s all done; wipe your brow and say, “Whew! I did it. I made good on this idea.”