Monday, January 9, 2017

Is my story original? The Struggle

Struggling to find originality? Scared that your story has been done before? Many people (including me) have thought about this.

You feel like what ever you do, whatever you write, nothing is original. Some other, better author has already published the exact same thing.

Why should I even bother? They have found their originality and I'm just a copycat. Where can I find my originality? How do I know it hasn't been done before?

A user on Figment: Write Yourself In has also felt this way. You are not alone. Here is what she said in a post titled "I'm Incapable of Coming up With an Original Thought".

"Okay, I was just wondering if there was anyone else out there who struggles with righting fiction?!?!? I feel like I see all of your guy's stories and they are all so creative but I have a really hard time just pulling together a story like that. Most of my stories right now are either memoirs, of my thoughts on things, or a true story with the names changed. I don't know I just feel like I'm a better story teller/exaggerator than I am a story MAKER. I don't know how you guys do that! You are truly talented! I give my props to you. So I mean let me know if you feel the sames way and give me any tips on how to write some different stuff."
(Amelia Ann: Figment User. In case you're wondering, I have asked and she has agreed to letting me use her quote in my blog).

When you go to the link, you might find different responses to this problem. One of them being that everything is copied and/or twisted to sound original.

But don't be discouraged. Let me tell you something that might blow your mind.


Your stories are original.

Are you surprised? Maybe you just think I'm just saying this to make you feel better.

Just like Amelia and many of you out there, I went through the exact same struggle.

I had a time where I wondered how original my story really was. Every author out there looked so shiny and creative and original...gosh, there was no way I could be like them because whatever I wrote was just a copied/twisted version of something already written.

Just like Amelia, I felt like, yeah, I'm incapable of coming up with an original thought.

But I didn't want to give up. I mean, there are so many writers out there, surely there was a way for me to find my own originality. I just had to keep writing.

So I went to creative writing classes and thought and thought.

I even tried non-fiction (which really wasn't for me) and thought and thought.

One day I remembered something my old math tutor said to me.

She said, "You have to write it down. When you write it, you make it your own."

When I write it I make it my own? Even though that math equation is someone else's, it becomes like my own?

I then realized that people always say, "You are special in your own way" meaning "You are original".

I then realized that when you go to a bookstore, it's not just one vampire book but many vampire books. Sure they're all about vampires but they are all written by different authors.

Different authors yet each is special in their own way, each one is ORIGINAL!

I finally found it, after 6 months or so of struggling. I WAS original. Whatever I wrote HADN'T been done before. I was special in my own way. I was original. Whatever I wrote was original. I had been doing fine this whole time.

Now let's get back to you. You strugglers out there. Let me tell you what is original about you.

Your experiences. No one else has experienced things from your point of view. It is impossible.

Your quirks in writing. You have quirks when you write that you might not even notice. When you write sentences and weave a story, you are doing it your way. Only you can do it.

The ideas you come up with have come from your experiences. When you read a book and get inspired, that is different from the way other people get inspired. We can't all get inspired the same way.

Your likes and dislikes are unique. No one else can have the exact same likes and dislikes as you in the exact same way you like or dislike them. Even if you like cats and I do too, and you like cats because they are cute and I do too, the way we like cats because they are cute are different.

You are original. There is no one else like you.

Your story is original. There is no other story like yours.

Whatever you write, whatever you come up with, is all your own.

So strugglers, don't fret, don't worry, your story is original BECAUSE you are original.

Don't you EVER forget that.

Happy Writing! :D

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