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 non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: ‘It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.’ - Jim Jarmusch
Today is another installment in the "irrational crazy" of my life.
I love reading blogs and I have a whole mess of them in my reader. I spend a fair chunk of my morning sipping coffee and visiting my favorite places in the virtual village. I love reading what people have to say and soaking in new ideas. It feeds me. It inspires me.
And then I come back here, all sparked by an idea that I read and that's all I can think about. It'll rattle around in my brain and I'll think of things that I might like to say about it and then bam! There it is. I don't want to write because I'll just be rehashing what the other person already said. I'm just a hack! A fraud! A copycat!
It. Makes. Me. Crazy. photo © 2008 moonrat42 | more info (via: Wylio)
Of course no one wants to just rip off ideas from others. That's supremely not cool.
When I saw this quote (which I totally stole!) on a friend's Facebook page, it just really spoke to me. Yes, originality is good. I still want to come up with one or two ideas on my own every now and again. I don't want to just write about stuff others have already written about. That would be boring.
But I'm also not going to shy away from using other people's writing as a jumping off point for my own writing. If something moves me, I'll give credit to the source, but I might just go ahead and add my thoughts to the discussion.
And if you want to call me a fraud, I might just be okay with that. Because I'm still unique.
Do you struggle with the idea of your creative offerings being original enough? How do you balance originality with inspiration?