Story ideas are like plants. Some are weeds, wasting our time and choking out the ideas we want to grow. Flowers look great, but they’re hardly better than weeds since they only last for a season. What we need are sturdy bushes to prune into shape. These ideas will stand the test of time. They provide the foundation of a writer’s reputation.
Then, there are the trees. Every writer dreams of growing a tree, one story that will still be standing after several centuries. Ideas that seem equivalent in value, executed by authors of equivalent ability, don’t necessarily grow to the same stature. There’s alchemy involved in which seeds turn into trees.
Most plants look alike when they sprout. The seedlings need to be nourished until the plants grow tall enough to identify them accurately. We must be willing to root the weeds out when we identify them. And, even weeds have compost value, serving as fertilizer for the next story idea that sprouts.
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Having the goals and the ROW80 is helping so much. The goals are ambitious, but it’s too early to tell if they are too ambitious. I’ll re-evaluate after a couple of weeks of continuous effort.