In a world that’s been evolving for as long as it has, being a Creative can be daunting. I mean, how can you possibly come up with something unique — something that hasn’t already been done or said a hundred times in a hundred ways?
The short answer is: You can’t.
The longer answer is: You can’t, but it doesn’t matter.
Okay, I say ‘you can’t’, but that’s not entirely true. I can’t really say that a new idea or concept is impossible, because every idea or concept was new and unique at one time. I can just say it’s improbable.
But it doesn’t matter!
The world is over-saturated with opinions about how to deal with mental health? It doesn’t matter!
There are already hundreds of best-sellers about personal development and growth? It doesn’t matter!
Shelves are over-loaded with thousands of predictable novels about how boy meets girl, screws up, loses girl, makes up and they all live happily ever after? Who cares!? It. Doesn’t. Matter!
It doesn’t matter that it’s all been said and done, over and over. Because nobody has done it in just the way you’re doing it or said it with your words.
So the real problem with originality isn’t that it’s all been done before. The problem is us. It’s our fear of being labelled a hack or a fraud for doing it again. For putting our own spin on something. I mean, why reinvent the wheel, right?
If it ain’t broken…
I’ve heard time and again – “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
I ask: Why not?
As a writer – not new to writing, but new to this platform – I’ve been struggling with these thoughts this past week. I’ve started about five articles and then stopped half-way through. Doubting myself. Questioning my ability to put words together that make sense. Words that people will want to read.
I’ve read countless articles since joining this community, written about the same topics – so then what could I possibly hope to write that’s fresh and new, and original – that would also offer value?
But maybe, just maybe, something life-changing.
You see, I’ve noticed something else besides the similarities, in reading all of these articles: Although many are based on the same general idea, they were all worded differently. They were all accompanied by different points of view, caused by different life experiences. And then one person — the one writer who’s sharing their version of the same story I’ve read a dozen times, finally delivers it in a way that resonates with me in a way none of the others has. It connects with me — it’s relatable.
That’s not to say those others weren’t amazing, well-written and insightful pieces. They all, at one time or another, probably had the same effect on someone like the one I read had on me. It clicked in their minds. It made sense.
My point is, don’t ever be afraid of being called a hack or a fraud. Ignore the trolls and the haters – they will never go away. There’ll always be people with entirely too much time on their hands, who prey on those who have something to say, because the truth is, they don’t have anything valuable to say themselves. So they spend their hours scouring the internet, looking for other people’s words so they can mock them, pick them apart and find something to argue about — give themselves a voice.
My advice? Say what you have to say, in your own unique and creative way. Be utterly you, like only you can. Because you never know who’s going to be reading your words. You never know who’s going to need your words.
We’re all going through our own journey in life. We’ve all got our demons. Our personal mountains to climb. Our forks in the road to choose and our mistakes to make.
Your words might not change the world. In fact, they probably won’t. But they might change one person’s world.
…and isn’t that why we write the words in the first place?