What’s the Big Idea?

A quick aside before I get to the topic at hand: It’s cold, y’all. I’m aware that the majority of the country is facing unprecedented low temperatures this week, so it’s not like I’m telling you something you don’t already know, but just damn. As I sit typing this, it’s -14° outside with a wind chill of -24°. Even though I’ve lived in the Midwest over a decade, I’m a born-and-bred Southern Californian, I’m not equipped to handle weather this cold! But seriously, if your teeth are chattering too, hang in there.

A while back I had an idea. I either woke up with it, or had it as I was falling asleep, I can’t remember which. But as soon as it struck me, I thought “Wow, that’s either really good or total garbage.” I was consumed with this idea for at least two weeks, researching it, thinking it through, the like. It’s now sitting on deck as my next new rough draft once I finish edits on my novel (which I’m hoping to be in the next week or two, finally!). Still, there’s a chance it’ll be a stinker. So you can imagine how much encouragement I found in the following exchange between two writers on Twitter:

I’ve had some wild ideas before, or at least I thought they were wild, but when you’re gaining your footing as a writer and building your confidence, sometimes it’s hard to know what’s good and what’s not. But now I’ve been writing for longer than I care to admit (considering the amount of success I’ve had), and I feel like I know a good idea when I hear it. So when I thought of this story, I thought maybe I had fallen off the deep end (seriously, this idea will prove me to be either a genius or an idiot). Seeing that more established authors have the same doubts was pretty comforting.

So that got me to wondering: how many of you have had ideas like that? Where you wonder if it’s worth pursuing, but if it is, it could be amazing? Have you ever disregarded an idea because you thought it was just too ridiculous? If so, what was it? One thing I’ve learned is that there’s a crowd out there for pretty much everything. If an idea strikes me and I can’t stop thinking about it (as was the case with this new Great Idea), I have to pursue it or it will eat at me from the inside. And without getting off on a tangent, I’m already making up for lost time as it is, I’m not going to worry too much about silly little things like “what if no one reads it?”. To quote Frank Reynolds from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, “I don’t know how many years on this Earth I got left. I’m gonna get real weird with it.”

Published by Kenneth Jobe

Kenneth Jobe is a writer, photographer, musician, and Native Californian living in the Midwest with his wife and son. His fiction has been published in Jitter, The Rusty Nail, Ghostlight: The Magazine of Terror, and the horror anthology Robbed of Sleep, Volume 2. His debut novel, The End of Jimmy Ray Day, is being published by Literary Wanderlust, coming late 2021.

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