I have often found myself writing something down only to then decide that there is no point saying what I have to say because someone has no doubt written it before but in a different way. This is a highly toxic thing for creativity and it is a stupid belief to have.
It was a friends post on Facebook that got me thinking differently and I am so glad that I read it. Here’s the quote in full:
“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable: originality is nonexistent. And don’t bother concealing your theivery-celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Goddard said: ‘It’s not where you take things from-it’s where you take them to'”
Jim Jarmusch (film director).
I am so glad that I read this (cheers Courtney) because it changed my whole outlook on how to write. There must be hundreds of writers typing the same shite and uploading the same pictures but at the end of the day it is their own take on something that makes it genuinely unique. Look at Game of Thrones. A hugely popular franchise based around one of the most saturated markets for fiction – Fantasy. Yet George RR Martin succeeds because his work of Fantasy is that damned good that it stands out from the others. If he simply thought – nah there’s enough epic fantasy out there – we’d would not have got to see so much sex on our TV screens or watch Tyrion Lannister get that much more awesome.
Joking aside I can safely say that my first novel featuring steampunk esque mecha bombing around a dystopian world featuring a clichéd caste of loveable and vilified characters will be started soon. In fact that actually sounds like a book that I would want to read.
To you I simply say that if you have a creative bone in your body then I implore you to not give up on pursuing things that you enjoy creating. It really doesn’t matter how many times someone has done something before; if other people enjoy it then that’s great. More importantly – if you enjoy it then that’s better.