The Origins of Originality
It feels good to be back on this site. I’ve missed Convozine and glad that I am writing more again (I recited a spoken word/rap about HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention at a hotel on the 1st of December, which was a very nice and liberating experience). Hopefully I will be posting more often on this site as well.
Now back to business: I think the majority of us can agree that one of our biggest fears at one point or another is being labeled “trite”, “banal,” and unoriginal. This especially relates to beginner writers, like me, since many of us can have difficulty trying to study various authors’ styles and get a better idea of how we can incorporate that into our own writing without feeling as if we are rip off artists. The question I’m trying to come up with an answer to is this; what is originality REALLY?
More often than not when I am trying to come up with a story to write, I wrack my brains about the plot because I am afraid that it will not be “original” enough. Remember the adage “Nothing is new under the sun”? Just as everything has been done and continues to be done, we have to cope with the fact that everything has been written and continues to still be written about. One of the purposes of observing other writers’ techniques is so that we can become inspired whenever we are having a “creative drought”, as I mentioned before. It is both paying homage as well as an opportunity to be innovative, not to be a shameless facsimile who gives in to the oh-so-tempting Mary Sues and Gary Stus. One of the phrases I’m going to have to keep in mind for whenever I get an idea and start developing it into a story is what my English teacher told us; “Let it suck. You can always make it suck less later.” Before I close this off, I would like to get some insight from the writers who have battled with the whole going-crazy-over-being-original business so that myself as well as others who are struggling with this issue.
Thank you all for reading.
Also appears in:
A Writer's Touch
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