Today I’m talking about one of my biggest pet peeves as an aspiring writer. When you tell anyone that you’re writing for any reason, whether you are hoping to be a full-time writer or just as a hobby, in my experience, most people jump into telling you what they think you should write about. I hate this. Most times I personally think the ideas are actually awful or just not my taste. There are only so many ideas out there, chances are I’ve already thought about it and have jotted it down, or maybe it’s something I would think about in the future, but now I may have to cross it out because you have said it.
I just cannot stress how very annoying it is when someone tells you what they think you should write. I would advise you to please suppress that urge if the person hasn’t asked you for your opinion. The fact that they are telling you, in the present tense, that they are writing means they may actually be in the middle of a project. There is also the option that it’s simply something I have no interest in at all and you are saying something so far out from what I’ve told you I am interested in. This has also happened to me a lot. For example, if I tell you I’m interested only in writing fiction and you tell me to write a book about Diana’s life or something, no offense to Lady Di but I didn’t say I write biographies.
Again, only give advice/opinions or ideas when asked. This rant is inspired by an incident that happened to me during the Easter weekend. I met up with a friend (who previously suggested I write an extended biography) that I had already told that I am writing and doing it as a hubby (obviously I downplayed just how important it means to me), and anyway, the gist of the story is when she told someone else the first thing they said was “oh you should about …” The annoying thing is that the premise of what the person suggested I should write about is something I had already outlined (in October last year) and was looking forward to writing for this year’s NANOWRIMO. So immediately this person voiced their idea in my mind I’m like “shut up you stupid twat! I already had that idea! why did you have to say that?!” As I said, there are only so many ideas out there and I don’t claim to be the next Suzanne Collins but I like fleshing out my stories and seeing them come to life. But now it looks like I took the idea from him when I already had the idea and had already outlined it. No, he didn’t have the exact same idea, because my storyline is different but it has the very same core part of the premise.
I have a whole library of ideas and some of them are just rough drafts but others that I am extra excited about are outlined in terms of what should be happening in each chapter. I try to come up with at least three ideas a week. This is because I want to get all the bad ideas out and hopefully keep my mind decluttered for when good ones come by. So within a month, I select a couple that I think are good and I outline them and keep them aside for later. I’ve been doing this since I started writing in September/October, so I have so many ideas I am excited to explore further. I keep up with that schedule and love the process of finding new stories. You badgering someone with your own idea is unwelcome because you’re taking the fun out of it. The idea this person presented was one I had in October and had already outlined the summary of each chapter, but now I’m thinking, should I go ahead and write it knowing that this person might think that I stole the idea from them?
When this happened to me, I was so dumbfounded that I didn’t know whether or not to say I already had the idea. so I just said nothing. I know that it is such a basic idea that anyone could come up with but I searched the Internet for it and no one has actually written it yet and how I write it (the style and plot surrounding it) will be different from how someone else will. I’m probably just getting too much in my head but I’m pissed about it. So please, do not go around telling people what to write or giving people ideas if they did not ask you for it. Even when they have no idea, sometimes they want to find the idea by themselves.
Sorry, this is a massive rant, but I really do hate it when people tell me what they think I should write a book about. If you want that written why don’t you write it yourself or pay someone to ghostwrite it for you? Just leave me to write what I want to. On behalf of all the aspiring writers out there, I’m begging you, please don’t tell people what they should write about, chances are, they already know what they want to write about, or they’re excited to find out. If they do not ask you point-blank, “do you have any ideas for me please? I’m stuck and I want someone else to help me come up with something,” then keep your ideas to yourself and enjoy writing that story yourself instead of ruining the process for someone else.
P.s. you could make a drinking game out of how much I used the word “write” or “writing” in this piece. (…drink responsibly)
Thank you for spending time with me today and I hope you’ll be back here again next week Wednesday (I don’t think it’ll be a rant… but no promises). Have a great rest of the week!