Do you ever get the feeling like you have had an original idea? You have that “EUREKA!!!” kinda moment, and you begin to feel super confident that you are about to have a breakthrough idea that will change the world as everyone knows it; there will finally be flying cars, flying pigs, and cupcakes in milkshake form like in Wall-E, when suddenly- it happens. Your brilliant idea has just been derailed by the shocking discovery that someone has already thought of that brilliant idea first.
You feel defeated, and disappointed in yourself for not thinking of it sooner than that person had. That person had the initiative to act upon that idea long before you had ever even thought of it, and is now making trillions upon bajillions of dollars. Now what?
I too just had this brilliant “EUREKA!!!” moment for a story that I was already envisioning coming to life. The story had been fighting to break loose from its incarceration for a period of about five months, and tonight, I finally decided that I would break the locks, and let my idea loose for a little while, to see what would happen.
But the story that I was hoping to make into something that would possibly become my first book, or my longest story, had already been written. I looked at it briefly on Amazon in disgust, because someone dared to have done the same thing I wanted to do. And the worst part, is that it looked like they had done it well, if not a better idea than I. My whole bright future is now definitely going up in flames like the story (which is ironic, because the story is about a ship that lights on fire, and sinks! “Sea” what I did there??!).
But I am beginning to realize though, that maybe this won’t be the last brilliant idea I ever have. I’m sure there are more to spare, since God did make me a writer (I think). The thing that I needed to do though, was to dip into the idea, and search to see if it had already been written. And well, now that it has, I’ll have to move on to the next thing.
Last semester at a writer’s conference at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I received some valuable advice from a sassy writer by no other name than Anne Lamott. She said that if you have an idea, you need to share it with others, because if you don’t, you could be keeping the world from something.
Can you imagine what would have happened if Charles Dickens never wrote? I’m sure he too felt defeated at times, or might have had other “Eureka!!!” ideas that others might have already taken. And what about Shakespeare? (Well, no one really knows if he did actually write his stuff, but that’s another story for another time.) What if he had been too lazy to create his plays, and our English language never developed to the flourishing point that it’s at now? That would be such a shame, ain’t that right? Although flourishing might be too strong of a word to use here…
Dickens could have instead spent more time dancing (or whatever the heck they did back then), and not have given freedom to his stories, and we would have missed out. And Shakespeare could have soley just been a player that I’m sure he was because, come on, where do you think he got his inspiration from?
Anyway, I guess what I’m saying is that, even if you’re not a writer or a muse-inspired artist, and you also have ideas like these that are already taken, I would say, keep exploring the ideas, because they could lead you on to something else.
And yeah, like the title suggests, I think I might be becoming a “Eureka!!!” kinda freek; I’m on the hunt to chase for more Eurekas. Even though “Eureka!!!” doesn’t exactly mean what I’m trying to get it to mean. Just go along with me here, please? It’s 3:45 am. And that’s my cue to stop writing. For real. Ok now I can’t stop. It’s like a drug that’s not prescription. Alright, for real, so long suckahhhsss.