The Perils of Worshipping the Big Idea

How the Big Idea Myth hurts writers

The Big Idea Myth is the belief that for any creative endeavor, the idea counts the most. Execution is trivial.

  • They wait to build their author platform, to keep the idea secret for the “big reveal” of publication day.
  • They don’t reach out and speak with other people in their field (who could be wonderful advocates for their books) because they want to protect and shield their ideas.

Great writing is much more than a great idea

If execution were so easy, the world would be filled with wonderful movies and books. Ideas are abundant. Most stories can be mapped to a finite set of plots.

The Big Idea Myth in the workplace

The tendency to worship a “big idea” is prevalent in our society. If you work as a writer in an organization with this bias, then people will not value the work you do shaping and crafting content. They’ll toss outlines at you and act surprised if the final result isn’t dazzling.

Related Resources

For authors, read Tim Grahl’s post Ebook Piracy = Sell More Books



Author, Writing Coach, Unapologetic Nonfiction Geek. Writing about Writing Itself (very meta).

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