I was up until past 3AM last night, owing to the fact that I graded 40 freshman composition papers in one day (!) and every time I closed my eyes, that prose assaulted my mind. The good news is that they are getting better.
Sometime between 2AM and 3:30AM, I had a Big Idea. You know the kind of ideas I am talking about: the kind that strikes you as brilliant in the dim mind of the night, but melts under the harsh daylight of a well-rested mind. The funny thing is that when I woke up, the idea seemed even better.
When I say a Big Idea, I don't mean something like, "Hey, gang, let's have a bake sale!" or "Maybe I'll start eating right and exercising more." I mean an idea for changing the way we think about medieval literature -- a suggestion for an entire paradigm shift. The kind of idea that really cheeses people off, which, if poorly expressed, makes the thinker come off as a crackpot.
So, I've been trying to figure out what to do with this idea. My wife suggested I write an article and send it to Speculum (an old and important medieval journal). An early modernist friend of mine suggested I share the idea with a few like-minded friends and put together a panel at the Medieval Congress (yes, there is such a thing). Another friend suggested I write up the article and send it to one of my mentors for advice. Another suggestion was that I try to turn it into a book.
I'm not trying to be cutsey and teasing here ... I just don't want to reveal the idea before it either ripens to wine or turns to vinegar. The question is: what do you do with a really big idea?The truth is, I'm not sure how to proceed. Any help from the wise among you?