Tag Archive for ideas

The Value of Ideas

When I express frustration at my lack of writing productivity, people will assume I’m dealing with a lack of ideas. Next thing I know they’re sharing their ideas with me, and then they’re offended when I politely decline.

The thing they don’t understand is ideas aren’t worth dick.

Nada. Nothing. Nought. Zero.

Ideas are important, but people don’t get paid unless there’s execution. Maybe you can point to some famous author who gets paid for ideas, and then someone else gets paid to ghost write something for them, but the difference is they’ve already proven their ideas are worth executing. Their name and their celebrity is the real attraction, not the idea. The idea itself still isn’t worth anything until it’s on the page, on the screen, or otherwise consumable and money is changing hands.

If it were as simple as selling ideas, I’d hand over my notebooks and my Evernote password and cash in.

This can all be yours for just $5,000.00. Call me.

This can all be yours for just $5,000.00. Call me.

For the most part, these people have their hearts in the right place and they’re just trying to help. Other times they’re just too goddamn lazy to do their own work and they think I can help them cash in. In either case, I generally steer them toward doing their own work. The former group will generally drop it, but the latter will then be doubly offended when I’m not blinded by their brilliance.

Ideas, regardless of their medium, require sweat equity. I don’t care if your idea is in the arts, business, education, or technology, you’re going to have to execute. Create your idea, build your idea, demonstrate your idea works. Make the effort and get the work done.

Or don’t. It doesn’t matter, because ideas are easy. They die as quickly as they appear. If you don’t put any effort into it, then you won’t feel any real value in the idea either. Some random dollar amount you’ve attributed to an idea is just a fantasy until you’ve put the effort into it and proven its value.

So you’ve got an idea? Great!

Now get to work.

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.

Collaborators vs. Leeches

A friend hit me up for a collaboration two nights ago. I want to do it for three key reasons:

  1. I trust this guy.
  2. I know he’d put in the effort.
  3. He was up front about the terms of the contract and the split.

This is what makes a good collaboration. This is why I was happy to work with guys like Brian Keene, Jesus Gonzalez, and Mike Huyck in the past.

Leeches make me cringe. These are the idea guys, but a notch worse.

These guys tell you they have a killer idea that will make a fortune, and they want you to write it for them, gratis.

Of course, in their eyes, it’s not gratis. They think their idea is gold. They think it will make a fortune for you both and you’re stupid for not dashing off to the keyboard with all speed. Of course you’ll still get rich only getting 10%; this idea is gold, remember, dumbass? It doesn’t matter they have no production/editorial input other than to encourage your keyboard jockeying skills.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Again, writers are passionate about their own ideas, or they get paid to be passionate about others’ ideas. As cynical as that may sound, that’s how the business works. “For the love” doesn’t put food on the table, and writing someone else’s stuff for the love takes us away from things that may potentially put food on the table.

If you have an idea, make it happen. Sit down and write. Learn the craft.

Do the work.

If that idea is really golden, congrats! You’re published. If not, you’ll have learned something for the next idea.

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.

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.

I MUST HAVE ONE

I get a lot of my ideas in the shower. I have long wished for a notebook that works in the shower.

Now AquaNotes has made it possible!

Time to bust out the credit card.

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.