I recently read incredibly wise advice from artist Jessica Abel on “idea debt.” In a nutshell, it means spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about your dream project rather than making that project—a process that becomes crippling over time.
Similarly, Benjamin Percy recently wrote at Glimmer Train about how writers can be like “misers with their money” when it comes to ideas—and how ultimately that behavior can prevent you from producing great work. Once he was willing to go “all in” and not hold back (for fear of emptying the well), he produced a great piece of work that made him stop any form of rationing:
The writer is always a careful observer, but if you are constantly evacuating your imagination, your eyes and ears grow even sharper, and you lean forward with hunger for every experience, knowing that it will offer up a card to add to your hand.
Also this month at Glimmer Train:
- Mozart Had a Mother-in-Law by Taiyaba Husain
- Scraps by Trevor Crown
- On Editing by Karen Outen
- Show Me a List by Aaron Gwyn
Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has nearly 25 years of experience in the media & publishing industry. She is the publisher of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors, and was named Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World in 2019.
In addition to being a professor with The Great Courses (How to Publish Your Book), she is the author of The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), which received a starred review from Library Journal.
Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as Digital Book World and Frankfurt Book Fair, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.