THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS AN ORIGINAL IDEA!

Dec 7 22:00 2001 Shery Ma Belle Arrie Print This Article

Every idea we may have stumbled upon one time or another ... been thought of and done by another person. A story idea you may be thinking of writing into a ... novel right now has a goo

Every idea we may have stumbled upon one time or another has
already been thought of and done by another person.

A story idea you may be thinking of writing into a full-fledge novel
right now has a good chance of having been thought of by another
writer. She may already be writing about it; he may have already
published it.

This is what makes writing interesting -- it's like a big spin-the-bottle
game where we -- the writers and authors -- take a stab at putting
our own brand of originality (or uniqueness) in a theme that's been
used so many times.

It's like beating something up until it turns into a pulp; or wringing
out a piece of cloth until there's not a drop of water left. And
because we're writers,Guest Posting there's no letting up -- we'd continue to
write about things that have already been written about the same
way that an obsessed Beatles fan would play "Hey, Jude" over
and over on his old phonograph and get absolutely high while
singing, "Na na na na na na na...na na na na..Hey Jude..."

It was Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher who said, "We cannot
cross the same river twice." And it's true because the second
time we cross a river we've crossed before, we're different and
so is the water. Of course, he was talking about the theory of
the communication process -- that the change in the person
who crossed the river a year ago was caused by his intrapersonal
and interpersonal relationships over time: his field of experience
has changed since then. Thus, a year later and he happens to
cross the same river (or a similar experience/person/situation)
again, something has already changed, and it's not the same as
it was a year ago.

We can apply Heraclitus' philosophy to writing -- there can be
thousands of romance books, articles dealing with health care,
or books on how to write well, but not one of them are going to
bear an exact similarity to another book or article dealing with
the same subject.

For starters, take a look at the shelves in your favorite bookstore.
How many books do you see in the romance genre? in the
mystery genre? in the sci-fi genre? Why is it every year,
thousands of books just keep getting published? It's because
writers and authors have this innate ability to fashion something
out of an old theme and turn it into their own unique creations.

And if 100 writers bought the same book, say a book on how to
start their freelance writing careers, none of them would have
the exact experience as a result of having read the same book.
Their experiences would vary. Even if most of them achieved
success, it would be in varying degrees.

Yes, there really isn't any original idea, much less a plot, left on
earth that none of us hasn't thought of yet, written about, made
money on, and proudly claimed as our own. The fact is, every
idea has already been thought of by someone else, or has been
simultaneously thought of by a number of people who have
never even met.

Yet in spite of this, we continue to write. Hey, there might not be
any original idea left on the face of this planet but as writers, we
have developed the inventiveness to shape old stones and turn
them into shiny diamonds, and none of them would have the
same number of facets.

There's no such thing as an original idea, but there are such
creatures as writers with great and different doses of imagination,
inventiveness and experience!

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About Article Author

Shery Ma Belle Arrie
Shery Ma Belle Arrie

Shery Ma Belle Arrieta
mailto:publisher@ewritersplace.com
Shery is the creator and author of the exciting
new series of ebooks for writers, SEEDS: Ideas for the Everyday
(Non-Fiction) Writer. You can download a FREE sampler at
http://ewritersplace.com/seeds.html. The July SEEDS ebook
contains 82 idea seeds, all based on historical events.
Visit http://www.thepublishedwriter.com/report1002.html.

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