Ideas are cheap

One of the things I do to earn part of my living involves technical writing inside a certain specialist industry. I pitched a project last summer that the people close to me were enthusiastic about. Nevertheless it died on the vine when it was kicked upstairs.  

Another writer and I were talking about the project, and he wanted to see the outline. I sent it. The next day he emailed to say this:

” Since I’m unemployed at the moment would you be okay with me looking into taking this [outline] and using it as a basis for a start up business?”

I am aware I am supposed to feel affronted and protective over the outline. I don’t though. Probably people will tell me I am foolish. I don’t care.

This is what I said in return:

“Go ahead and do what you like with it. . . Develop this and implement it, develop it and sell it to the competition, I don’t care what you do with it as I’m not going to do anything with it and ideas are cheap. If you can use it to build a business, good for you. The easy part is getting ideas, the hard part is implementing them, so please use that outline as you would your own proprietary materials and reap whatever benefits you can from it. ”



Enneagrams as a character development tool


The enneagram is an ancient heuristic for human personality. It’s akin to astrology and numerology and tarot cards in terms of its verifiability (that is, it’s not science, dudes. It’s not even social science).

Nevertheless, it’s a useful framework for understanding human personality from the perspective of character development. Writers can use it as a launch pad for explorations into motivation and character traits.  Dave Wiseheart has written a book about this called How to Write Great Characters: The Key to Your Hero’s Growth and Transformation. The e-book edition is on for 99 cents right now at Amazon.

What do you use to develop character and motivation?

Special thanks to the always-awesome Nancy Shanteau for linking me to this info! She’s the bomb. 🙂