One question I got a lot on the book tour was about working with a writer’s group to keep me on track. (Couldn’t have done it without them!) Other writers wanted to know if it was “safe” to share your book idea with others writers. Wasn’t I worried someone was going to steal my idea? The quick answer: no.
Maybe if I was writing a high-concept thriller, I might have been more cautious. But in my writers group, I was working with other professional writers who had their own projects going. I didn’t get the sense anyone was trolling for ideas. And secondly, nobody else could write in my voice. Even if somebody had “stolen” my idea, nobody would ever be able to write quite the way I write.
I trusted that sharing my work would have more benefits than keeping it locked up without input.
At the LTD conference for entrepreneurs a couple of weeks ago, the subject of “stole ideas” came up again. In this context, two women who had started tech companies were relating their experience gathering a team of advisers and getting advice from “anyone who could be helpful” in the initial stages of the idea. The moderator asked about concern over stolen ideas, and the CEO of Plum District laughed off the question, ” It is SO hard to start a company and so much work, that if anyone really wanted to steal the idea and make it happen, more power to them. “
In other words, steal my idea. I dare you.
I’ve seen paranoia about stolen ideas really paralyze writers and would -be entrepreneurs. They spend so much time and energy on protecting the “intellectual property” that they forget to develop and execute the idea! Should you be careful and protect yourself legally? Of course, but don’t get so weighed down in the sanctity of your idea and you make that your focus. My advice, find a group of like-minded people with relevant experience and tap into their knowledge. I believe well-considered critiques on a project can only improve the initial idea.
Have you gathered a panel of advisers– either formally or informally? Do you have plans to share your idea/project/plans ? What have you gotten out of seeking advice or help?
Embracing my chaos, Lian