“You know, I have always had this idea for a book . . . ”
I hear this comment quite a lot. It usually happens soon after I tell someone what I do for a living. I used to tell people that I was a ghostwriter, but I had more people think that meant I wrote ghost stories than that I wrote books with (and often for) other people. And then some authors don’t want anyone to know they used a ghostwriter (thus the “ghost” part), so I started telling people I was a freelance developmental editor—but that just sounded like gobbledygook. So now I tell people, “I am a writer who helps people turn their ideas into books.”
And then, after a little small talk, they usually try to casually drop into the conversation, “You know, I have always had this idea for a book…”
And, you might be surprised to learn, more often than not, they are pretty good ideas—however…
An Idea Isn’t Enough, Even If It’s a Great Idea
Since I can’t write everybody’s book with them, and most people aren’t in a position to pay the healthy fee to hire me do it for them, I almost always find myself stuck in a bit of a quandary: How do I help people turn their good ideas into great books when I am not taking point on writing or organizing for them?
So, I decided to explore answering that question by starting this blog. Let me start asking,
“What’s your idea?”
It seems like everyone has an undeveloped idea for something that tends to start as writing, whether that be a movie, a blog, a TV series, a poem or song, a book, or even a business, a product, a cause, an invention, a nonprofit, or whatever. The trouble is, even a great idea is not enough to impact the world if it is not developed and presented in the right way. So, once you’ve identified a great idea, what do you do next?
What’s the disconnect usually happens, isn’t it? Why do so few ever get from idea to finished manuscript (business plan, schematic, vision statement, etc. )—let alone to published book (product, invention, business, school, organization, etc.)?
Well, in my more than fifteen years as an editor and writer—and my years before that as a writing teacher—I have found there are basically three reasons:
- there is something—techniques, facts, insights, etc.—we don’t know;
- there is something we aren’t diligently doing diligently; or
- we just don’t believe in ourselves enough to even get started!
I don’t mean to be trite—now that you read those, you are probably thinking something along the lines of “Duh!”—but I believe the difference between a true writer—or speaker, musician, filmmaker, business owner, inventor, innovator, world-changer, etc.—and just someone with an idea is wrapped up in a least one of these three. The question is, how do we find what is keeping us—and our good idea—from turning into something great?
It’s About Connecting with What You Need to Succeed
Well, liking to help people as I do—I have found over the years that I am still a teacher at heart no matter what—I thought I would create a space on the Internet where I can help others find the answers and connections they need that will transform their seedling good ideas into mighty oaks that can inspire and bless others in a multitude of ways. I thought I might be able to exercise my skills as a writer and a teacher to become what I like to think of as an “idea coach”—someone who helps others connect with the ideas, skills, insights, and resolve that will turn their ideas into something great.
And maybe if I did that, others would join in and help create a community of like-minded people that would help each other.
My thought is that this could be a forum would connect people with what they need to successfully turn their thoughts and daydreams into things that will bless them, their families, and their world. It is certainly a place where I would like to explore the art and craft of writing, but also investigate the creative process in a way that will facilitate getting from idea to finished product. I also want this to be a place to discuss the practical things in life—living full, holistic lives, managing our resources, nurturing our relationships, and prospering our souls—so that each of us has more time, energy, and creative moxy to dedicate to living lives that are truly worth living!
So, let me ask again:
“What’s keeping you from being the writer—or, as the case may be, the artist, musician, business/nonprofit founder, innovator, or whatever.—your heart tells you you should be?”
Or, more simply:
“What’s the idea you are looking to turn into something great?”