I have often said that the world’s greatest writer could win the Pulitzer Prize for writing a novel about a man who collects gum wrappers off the sidewalk.
And even if you get that “great, original idea”, it’s you who will have to write it.
“I’ve got a great idea for you,” someone inevitably says to you when they find out you’re a writer. Their eyes gleaming with mischievous pride as they fight to contain their smile, they slowly spell out either a painfully clichéd idea that you’ve seen listed on Hackneyed Premises to Avoid At All Costs or else is something so far-fetched and desperately “original” that you have no idea how to begin telling them why it would never work. Of course, they couldn’t be bothered to take this brilliant idea and do anything with it, but they’re positive that they’ve just given you the answer to all your prayers. Because, naturally, being a writer is all about taking other peoples’ ideas and spinning that straw into gold, right?
What makes me laugh/cry about this kind of situation is what a profound lack of understanding it…
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