Sunday, January 18, 2015

On Originality

For some months I've been struggling with the idea of originality. What is original?

Surely every now and then people come up with something so different that make you think, "Why didn't anyone think of that before?", but other than those? I've been influenced by so many things and people until now that I struggle with the idea of claiming something as being my own original idea. There have been artwork/writings that bear some resemblance to some other artwork/writings that had been published before and one can't help but wonder whether they're rip offs or not, because when there are differences between the previous one and the current one, where does one draw the line? 

Whilst I was struggling with these questions in my head, I was browsing through some quotes and I accidentally found my soothing answer.

“Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

There it is! Write/create to express, not to impress. I just LOVE finding answers by accident.

Have you ever struggled with this, too? Did you come up with a different answer?

1 comment:

  1. I've not heard that quote before, love C.S. Lewis, and now love that quote.
    Originality. I'm haunted by this when writing my book. As well as the obvious criticism, you are rubbish, originality is my biggest concern.
    I attended a writing course a few years back and I can still remember my tutor advising us that new and fresh ideas are very rare, but new and fresh writers are welcome.