The Slavery Of Being Completely Original

By Keyla Sweeney

What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun. – Ecclessiastes 1:9

Last week Robert Bruce wrote a great piece in copy blogger, you can read it in this link The Art Of Finding Ideas. I don’t agree with all his views, but I still think it was a great post.

There are some occupations that depend on regular basis in finding ”new ideas”. Preachers, advertisers, bloggers, writers, painters, lawyers, musicians, designers to name a few are in the business of being original. But what is original by definition? Below some definitions from Cambridge Dictionary:

the first one made and not a copySend a copy of your receipt, but keep the original.

in the earliest form of something, or in the form that existed at the beginningThe original plans have been changed.

Original can also mean different from anything or anyone else and therefore new and interestingOur teacher said we’d better come up with something original.

Among those occupations, I hold close to my heart preachers and copywriters. In the case of preachers who must be faithful to the Scriptures, Sunday after Sunday they have the challenge of saying something new but that can’t be new, because it has to stick to Scriptures. They have to be extremely careful because most heresies are born out this deep desire of being completely original, of saying something new. A similar thing happens to copywriters. I have witnessed more than once when they legit created a copy or campaign, and in another part of the world, the same week, someone came out with exactly the same concept. (Usually the client is the first one in finding this out).

Who can blame them? Thanks to Internet we all have access to the same references (and yes, you can find a reference for everything). This non sense of reinventing the wheel, I believe is part of the rebel condition of human beings. We want to be creators too; we want to be like God. It requires humility to acknowledge that we can’t create out of nothing. Maybe the only completely original thing we have ever created was the original sin.

Now back to Bruce article, these are some of my favorite excerpts (but just read it, is so good):

”The moment you free yourself from The Cult of Originality, you realize that original ideas do not come from within.

They are given to us.

A writer should not look inside, but outside, at external sources, stories, events, and emotions.

Every writer who has ever lived has lusted after ideas.

Try as you might to sweat them out of your head or pull them gently from the stars above, there are no new ideas. Solomon already told us that, there is nothing new under the sun.

Listen more. Talk less.”

His formula to finding new ideas is: Research. Read. Compile. (I will only add, give credit when needed)

Read but not simply for reading. Read better content, It’s about what we read.

These are my Two cents for this morning. Go out an find some inspiration, curate those ideas and made it your own. Have a great hunting!

MG_0939″by psycht is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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