My creative work is not mine. I surely created it but the ideas weren’t my own and the ideas I’ll come up with in the future won’t be mine either. As a matter of fact, neither will yours.
Heck, even this post was an idea that I read by someone else who I’m sure read it by someone else as well.
The title of this post is from a phrase adapted from the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. Wild right?
It’s all been done before. Originality is a facade that cloaks the truth of creativity.
If by the mere .00001% chance that you created something nobody on the earth has ever thought of or created, then you sir or ma’am have reached legendary status and can rest well knowing your work was the first of its kind.
That is until you see someone else’s master piece that predates yours. Dang It! Now that’s a crushing blow to the psyche, isn’t it?
What are ideas?
They’re a huge cocktail of all the things you’ve seen, heard, and read. They’re a dash of things that inspire you; they’re the fears that shake you. They’re your environment and what your parents passed down to you. They’re the icy chills you get from surprise and anxiety. They’re the fiery rush of pain from bent over laughter.
Your ideas are basically a collage of your sensory inputs converted to ideas that compound into more ideas and so on.
The reason I’m saying this isn’t to throw a wrench in your fragile cognitive gears. I’m simply trying to set you free.
Removing the burden of trying to be original enables you to embrace that which makes the most impact on you. It’s the influential grease for those gears if you will.
From here, the only thing left to do is create. Do your passion. Enjoy that creative compulsion without thought and see where it takes you. What you create is all yours. You created it. Stand by it with pride.
“Originality is the art of concealing your sources” - Benjamin Franklin
Now that you’re aware of what makes up your creative output you can pick and choose what input to use.
Remember that the better ideas you ride with, the better your own stable of work will be.
Also think about this. Even if your idea has been done before, it doesn’t mean everyone has seen it. That’s the reason we all keep using each other’s ideas for our own use. They either haven’t been seen in your neck of the woods or you yourself haven’t discovered the idea that originated from someone else yet.
The world is vast and people crave creativity to let them know they’re alive.
Free yourself of the thought of being original and simple create what’s in your heart. You owe it to yourself as a creative to work unrestrained by the fallacy of originality.
Stay curious about all the ideas that surround you and you’ll show the world your best work.