A huge number of creatives refrain from sharing their ideas in progress with the outer world for one simple reason: fear of getting stolen.
Everyone tells you feedback is crucial for polishing your work; how you should share it in the name of popularity, meeting the needs of an audience, or simply increasing your self-esteem. And it is all true!
You have to admit though – it is not the nicest feeling ever when you have dedicated months – or even years – of your life on a book or a design, and the next day you see it under the name of a different author!
Nasssty Hobbitses! They stole it from us, Precious!
Now the filthy little thieves would come up with a whole lot of explanations how they did all the polishing, and the editing; and your work was actually pretty rough, and it was not that good at all – unless it was for THEM to put it into the Brave New World... I get this!
And legally it might be quite difficult to prove your authorship, especially when you are a small fish in the ocean of barracudas.
However, there are still some cunning strategies how you can put the Invisibility cloak and do your testing unnoticed right under the noses of these bloodthirsty predators, without them even suspecting you had something precious in your pockets.
I give you 4 Cunning Strategies
Draw your inner circle
Show the fully detailed work exclusively to REALLY trusted people. These can be your family, your very close professional consultants or fellow professionals who are not your direct competitors. What are the chances for university drama professor to bother stealing your movie script and selling it to Hollywood?! I mean, seriously?
Handpick the nuggets
Do the warm-ups in bite-sized chunks, such that people would not be able to get the full picture and shoplift the whole idea.
Having the characters’ names, Chapter 1 of the book, the breathtaking cropped details in that photo, or the first 30 seconds of a song is not going to cause any difference, is it?
Yet, it may be sufficient for your audience to give you the feedback of the writing tone, the colours, the rhythm, or how on earth could you name the main character George?? Every other guy is George! (George, no offence, mate! I love your name, I was just giving you the feedback of that picky little swank who read the character list!)
Feed the early birds.
Showcasing the early stages of development is relevantly risk-free.
You probably know the famous verse from the Bible
“In the beginning was the Word...”
followed by the creation of the whole world, don’t you?
The possibilities of developing the idea are endless, and even if someone DID pick up your early idea, how are they going to push it further?
Your voice is Unique. Interpretation is king. The way you tell your story is what matters, be it in written, visual or musical form. Remember, having the idea of a magic sword does not give you the monopole over magic swords in general!
Do the testing in more subtle ways.
E.g. have 3 options and have the people respond to specific questions:
- Which option resonates with them,
- what should be improved,
- what an impression it leaves, etc....
Your voice is Unique. Interpretation is king. The way you tell your story is what matters,
Having the idea of a magic sword does not give you the monopole over magic swords in general!
If after all these strategies your work DOES get stolen, then you must be REALLY damn good! I encourage you have all the confidence you deserve, starting Right Now!
You can even proudly present yourself as Author of 3 best-STEAL-lers!
OR you can say you are a ghost writer!
noun: ghostwriter; plural noun: ghostwriters; noun: ghost-writer; plural noun: ghost-writers
a person whose job it is to write material for someone else who is the named author.
Even though you did NOT get the money, you DID get the work done for someone else who is the named author, isn't it?
And at the end of the day your project touched the hearts of people, regardless it came out under somebody else’s name.
Maybe it would never find the way to completion unless it hadn't been for the thieves.
And maybe it would never change people’s lives. Think about this!
In moments when your rightful sense of Justice calls you, remember everything happens for a reason, and everything happens for the better.
Probably it was meant to be this way.
Probably the fame was not given to you. Not until you are ready. Not until you get a lawyer!
Probably something greater is coming for you.
And when the time comes, you must be ready to receive the greatness, and make things happen.
Everything happens for a reason, and everything happens for the better.
Have your say!
Did you like this article? Please share your thoughts in the comments below and remember to tell your friends on social media!
And now, tell me, seriously, just how cool is that?
- Just so cool
- Pretty cool
- Beautiful cool
- Gorgeous cool
- MEGA cool
The photo on this blog post is from the Lord of the Rings trilogy and is used without permission for illustration purposes only.
This article was inspired by a discussion in the Tribewriters community hosted by Jeff Goins. Thank you for your support!