Setting Self Doubt on Fire: Embrace the bad ideas


Hi everyone, it’s me again. I’ve got my ninja gear on, and I’m ready to fight those fears. So what do I have for you today? Well as you might have guessed from the title, I’m here to discuss how to take hold of those bad ideas, and watch it grow. Now I know you’re probably wondering why you would want a bad idea to grow, it’s rubbish right, will never get published, but there’s a surprise that can come from even the most rough ideas.


What inspired me to write this post was looking back through my own ideas, and thinking back to a story that seemed great at the time. Due to my strange sense of humour I thought a story about someone getting their arm pulled off and getting beaten with it would be hilarious, so there was my main focus, and I wrote a story. Now when I submitted the story I was told that my story wasn’t exactly realistic, the person would need to be anchored to the ground to have their arm ripped off, otherwise they’ll get thrown into the air. Hmm I thought, I didn’t even think of that, I was too busy laughing. So I altered the story and tried again  but after many attempts I still had no luck, and once I got over the arm detaching I realised that it wasn’t really a good idea. So rather than stamping a bad idea stamp on it, and deleting it from my computer and memory, I labelled it as needs to be edited, and continued on with other stories.


So what has this got to do with embracing the bad ideas? Well recently I thought about that story, and another idea started to grow from it, a better idea. There will be more character depth and a more interesting plot. So as you can see if I had deleted the story, burned it, and scolded myself for being a numpty, I wouldn’t now have this better idea. So to help you embrace your bad ideas, I’ve created a list of 5 things to consider:


  • Leave the story for a while, give it time to develop and grow.
  • Look for good points, do you have an interesting character, scene etc.
  • Is it the wrong POV (point of view)?
  • Does the idea need a different story?
  • Try blending ideas together, an idea might not work, but parts of it might, so add it to another idea, and see what happens. (This is what I did)


As you can see even parts of your idea can work with another one, so don’t let doubt convince you that you’re pants because you came up with a rubbish idea, it happens, you’re human after all. The thing to concentrate on is that you are coming up with ideas in the first place, which is great, so keep it up.


That’s all I’ve got for you today, hopefully you won’t feel so lousy if you do come up with a bad idea, just remember there’s always a good idea hidden within a bad one.


As before, here’s another inspirational quote:


“If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.” – (Somerset Maugham)


Nicole Simms

Nicole J. Simms is a UK horror, crime and fantasy writer. However, she is open to writing in other genres. Her stories have been published in anthologies, in magazines and on websites. In 2016, she won the Nine Voices’ 50-Word Halloween Competition with her story ‘Meeting the Parents’. And, her self-published e-book The Book of Drabbles is now available to download for free. She is also the deputy leader of the Oldbury Writing Group, a West Midlands based writing group. They have published a WW2 anthology together titled From Sunrise to Sunset, and they are now working on their second anthology. Stephen King, Sharon Bolton, J. K. Rowling, R. L. Stine and Kelley Armstrong are some of her favourite authors. And, when she’s not writing, she loves to bake, paint, knit and go on nature walks. Find out more at: Website - Facebook link - Twitter link - Goodreads link -

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