Let Go of Your Idea


UPDATE: If you have been following my journey, you now know I had kept an idea to myself for a couple years now. When I finally decided to ‘let go’ and announce that I was creating a body positive superhero, I imagined that I was confiding to my most intimate cyber world school chums at a sleepover full of giggles and anticipation over who was going to sleep first and risk having their hand put in warm water when sleeping.


Some enthusiastic readers privately messaged me to express their first impressions on not only my work in progress lead protagonist RENNIE, but also their thoughts on Valiant’s body positive comic book superhero, Faith, which is set to release later this month. What I learned was that from not being so secretive with my project I could learn a thing or two from the people (aka my future audience!), which is extremely important because at the end of the day it’s ALWAYS about the audience.

I also received numerous messages from people who had some really great ideas themselves, but had been uncomfortable about going public for fear that someone else might ‘steal their idea’.

Can I be frank? I’ve never fully understood the “I refuse to breathe a single word about my great idea until it’s done” deal that many artists often adhere to. Case in point: I used to work at a restaurant with a guy who once confided his story concept to me – and for the next year and a half, anytime I would ask him about it he would cut me off so fast you’d think I was gonna utter Voldemort’s name!  Face blazing red, fists clinched and eyes burning holes into me, he’d loudly whisper, “SHHHHSsssshhh Dellany! Someone might STEAL my idea!! If you want to ask me about it we need to go to that dark corner around the corner and THEN I can whisper it to you.”

I used to look around suspiciously, as if the restaurant was mic-ed and the customers were wired, but then… I had a moment of clarity:  nobody cares…(yet).

To anyone who thinks they can’t breathe a word to outsiders about their ingenious idea: RELAX, you’re not Tina Fey (…yet). And all that energy you’re putting into “protecting your Big Secret” – well, that can be better spent on BEING CREATIVE.

Here are a few points why it’s beneficial to shout your idea from the rooftops:


We need to get over the stigma that if we ‘share’ our ideas someone else is going to ‘steal’ it. At this point in time, it is safe to assume the chances of you having a completely original idea are equal to winning the lottery. Which is like, roughly 1 in 175,000,000. So you can exhale a little easier now. Just work hard on building upon your idea and feel free to share your creative process. Think of it like keeping a public daily journal. If you still are pretty stressed about doing this, there are many things you can do to protect your intellectual property and at the same time be open to people with what you are doing. Do keep in mind that if you still have a very generic idea, it’s not protected by copyright laws. But the higher you climb the industry ladder, and the more specific your idea becomes  – the more protected you will need to be.


This is honestly the best reason to be vocal about what you are doing. Since I opened up about “GIRL+” I have had multiple writers, web designers, illustrators, fashion designers, actors/actresses and other producers reach out to me to see where they could help and be a good fit for the project. I now have a list I am building of who I can contact when I need something.  Just two years ago I was fearful that no one would want to take part in this unconventional project that celebrates a plus size superhero, but that is simply not the case. Chances are that if you are passionate about a certain topic then someone else out there is too. But how will you know unless you talk about it?  Let the world know what you want to do and you will see that someone else will want something similar to you – and from there you can help each other. It’s a lot easier throwing your project a lifeline when you have a village backing you.


I cannot tell you how many times I have seen an idea or project crash and burn because it was kept top secret for too long… by the time the artist was ready to go public with their idea, nobody really knew that much about it in the first place to care enough to share, donate or look at it. Social networking is not a pass for being anti-social, especially when you are an independent artist. In today’s ‘catch em fast now or they are already gone’ whirlwind we live in, you cannot afford to keep your projects to yourself.

Back when I only identified as an actress I never really talked about being body positive or called myself a plus size artist. I was only concerned with fitting inside a small box that was obviously ill-equipped to hold all the things I actually had to offer as an artist. However, once I was on the other side of the camera I finally saw how important it was for me to let others know about what I really stood for. Now that I have taken the time to do that, more people are willing and ready to ride shotgun with me because they already know what they are getting into. Transparency and authenticity in this industry are often very hard to find – so when people see it, they like to hold on to it for dear life… So go ahead – let go.

*photo by Hanna Nielson