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When Good Ideas Go Bad

I’m between projects right now.  Just finished up a huge book (420+ pages) that was the second part of a duology that I’ve been preoccupied with for over three years.  While I’ve given that over to beta readers and giving my mind a break from it so I can edit it somewhat fresh, I’m looking for the next idea.

Here’s a visual representation for you. You know, cuz it’s kind of my thing.

New ideas are tricky things, because by virtue of them being new we think they are good.

Think New Deal. It wasn’t called that to invite despair. Well, more despair than already existed. It was the Great Depression, after all.

But more often than not, they’re just new, not good.

Think New Coke.

So how is one supposed to tell the difference?  The answer I’ve found is that you flat out can’t.  You simply can’t distinguish the good from the bad at first blush.

It’s like trying to figure out if a movie is good or not solely on the basis of it starring Liam Neeson. Dude doesn’t discriminate at all.

So, what do you do?  You run with the idea you think works best.

And try to hang on to it the best you can.

But the truth is, half way through the metaphorical bull ride, you may find out you’re not riding a bull.  You’re not riding a bull at all.

Instead you’re having a completely regrettable photo taken with you blissfully riding the back of Sheila from Accounts Receivable. You didn’t mean for this to happen.

Which can be flat out awkward.  You can try to make the best of it, but most times there’s no best there at all, just garbage adrift on a sea of mediocrity.

This is why I always write in a kayak.

So, what do you do then?  What else?  You cast aside the bad…

Something’s wrong with this Etch-a-Sketch. I shake and I shake and he’s still there…

And get back in the saddle.

I know a little Gene Autry always cheers me up.

After all, you never know when the next great idea is going to hit you…

Like a pepperoni pizza ice cream cone.


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