Ideas are cheap.
Everyone knows that. They’re optional, since you can have a great story without an unoriginal idea behind it. They’re common as dirt–so common, in fact, that most writers have more than they could ever find time to write–and they’re only one very small component of a finished piece of fiction. Without solid execution, even the greatest ideas are useless.
But a cool story idea is valuable in one way: it can make people excited about a story.
That’s why I give my story ideas away right here on the blog. Sometimes I have an idea that’ll tickle my brain, but I don’t have the time (or, frankly, the inclination) to write it. Sometimes it’s just a title or an interesting mashup. Maybe it’s in a medium I don’t write in. Maybe it’s a genre that’s wrong for me. Maybe there’s something else about that, while it sounds interesting, makes me want to put it aside.
The best way I’ve found to put them out of my mind is to add them to my Story Seeds posts, then give them away to the world.
Last night, for the first time ever, I received an email from a writer who’d taken one of those seeds, written a story, and sold it. Obviously, my role in that sale was incredibly small–it was the writer who did the bulk of the work. Still, it feels good.