to understand where I'm coming from
I have no worries about my ideas being stolen because I’m egotistical enough to think that most people who would deliberately steal my mind-worms are incapable of continuing to deliver at the level I think on. Depending on what measurements, I’m in the 90th percentile, think I was scoring on the 96th percentile in highschool, IQ tests were always borderline genius, and that’s just the analytical side of things. To make matters worse, while it could be argued that I was the dumbest and least experienced member of my immediate family, what could NOT be said is that they all surpassed me on general creativity. Now, mom was likely my equal, there, but my father and my brothers? No. No competition, there.
Not that always amounts to anything. I’m generally the type that does this arrogant set-up to remind people that being a jack-of-all-trades means you’re a master of none. You wind up not having enough invested in a singular field to make you the pre-eminent person to go to.
I’ve also lived a life that observed some pretty dumb people do some brilliant things. You don’t have to be smart to write. You don’t have to be creative to write. Those things help, don’t misunderstand, but I guarantee you that some people whose books I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed are plain not as potentially capable as me–and they did great! Sometimes it’s because they have worked their asses off to pick up what they lack. Sometimes they have plain found themselves and got their niche. Occasionally it’s because less is more: sure, I can think 20K things but if I cannot stabilize it with a core minimum, the story is going to be all over the place, confusing, and might actually be declared crap for “trying to much”.
So, I plain walk in here with a different set of anxieties than everyone else, like this one:
Just because I’m awesome does not mean anyone else will see everything that’s great about me. I’ve BEEN in situations where I’ve been declared a moron by people who can’t string two sentences together–let alone hold two thoughts. So since I’ve been where it doesn’t matter that I have this mountain of ability behind me because I don’t matter. It blows my mind that people have this low-tier imposter syndrome (where they aren’t good enough), when they can be the best at everything since sliced bread and still not be accepted as genuine articles. Just who do you think you are that “good enough” has a damn thing to do with it? I’m serious, I walk into a random room and 9 out of 10 people are NOT my equal and that 9 aren’t going to accept anything about me. Most the time, I’m going to be dismissed as unimportant, and the rare time I’m not, they are going to be crabs in a basket, trying to find something they can stand on top of me for. That’s just how people are. We’re little monsters that need to learn to outgrow our egos.
Anyway, I constantly give quick-fix ideas, “what would make what you do even more unique”, options to make x or y issue smooth out just because it’s like doing a mental puzzle. It’s just fun to do, sometimes, and those ideas I give are free to take because I’m not worried about them being owned by someone else.
But things I’m personally writing on? I answer questions about what I’m doing, and don’t really fear someone stealing the idea because I don’t think most people want to write what I write. That simple.
Now, some practical ideas:
I have too many thoughts and not enough fingers to write every single idea that I have. If I’m honest about the years I’ve written through, I can say I’ve completed an average of 1 book, maybe 3 mostly finished drafts, easily a half dozen tests-of-concepts a year. That’s it. Beyond that, I have daily or weekly ideas that I do nothing more than either give to others outright, or I jot down and don’t visit again because it’s out my head, finally.
The point is, I have too many ideas to worry about one or two being swiped. I plain can’t write everything that comes to mind. If someone came and took my idea for something and wrote it before me? It’s probably not even the one I’m going to finish. What am I going to do, hoard them? I mean, I know I have a fairly draconian personally but dang, this type of treasure has less value if I keep it to myself.
Now, that is just ideas. Plain plagerism? Hell no. It’s one thing to “steal my idea” that I haven’t worked out in detail, its another to go into my work and steal what I did word for word. You taking my idea and writing a story is having your take on what I thought, it won’t be what I write, ever (yay, back to that ego). But just up and taking my work is you not giving back your own take on it, it’s you wanting recognition that I’m not even getting for my work. That’s just crazy.
But the point for you is have some faith that if someone else swiped your idea, they wouldn’t be able to make it work the same way as you. Your work is going to be unique enough to withstand a very rare coinciding plot idea. No one is ever giving away every deta of what they wrote in a conversation, they are only going to see small points about it.