Where You Can Stick Your Ideas

A lot of people are keen to talk to writers about ideas.

Someone will approach us at a convention, look at our books, then say something like, “I’ve got this killer idea about a hitman who is actually doing the bidding of his psychic cat, and the targets are all aliens bent on taking over the world, and only the cat knows about it.”

Psychic Cat

“Quick, Jerry! Get your gun before it probes us!”

The writer will smile and nod in an effort to be polite (because, really, we’re just hoping the nutball will buy a book), and invariably the craziness will be followed by this gem: “You can have that idea, I don’t know how to write.”

Shocking.

Look, we’re writers. Generating ideas is what we do. We are passionate about our ideas, and this is what leads us to get them onto the page. In instances where we do write someone else’s ideas, then that person pays us to be passionate about their ideas. It’s called work for hire. Or ghost writing. Straight-up contract work for pure financial gain.

Ideas are not money. People being paid for an idea alone is a rarity, even in Hollywood. In those rare instances, the idea is coming from someone with a track record of moneymakers, not some random guy at a convention.

Execution of ideas is money. Books, comics, even spec film scripts, all require effort. This is why writing is considered a profession. Execution of ideas is our job.

You do your job, we’ll do ours.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

3 comments

  1. Hey, I’ve got an idea for you. It’s guaranteed to make you millions. Guaran-damn-teed, I tell you. It’s about that thing I did back in the war, but, well, I’m not gonna just tell you until you sign this non-disclosure agreement, this confidentiality agreement, and agree to give me 50% of the proceeds off all the work you do on my idea.

  2. [...] make me cringe. These are the idea guys, but a notch [...]

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