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    There's no Such Thing as an Original Idea!

    Every idea we may have stumbled upon one time or another had 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, or 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, 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'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 is not the same as it was a year ago.

    We can apply the same principle 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 be the same.

    For starters, take a look at the shelves on 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 no two 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!

    Copyright © 2001 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

    Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ creates and teaches free e-mail courses for writers at WritingBliss.com. Sign up for a class today.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ



    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! Kick start your imagination, ignite your creativity, and begin your journey towards becoming an outstanding writer.

    Grab a copy of WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! from Amazon.com and receive 2 free e-books to encourage and nurture the writer in you. You'll also receive Write Memories, a journaling workbook available for free only to WEEKLY WRITES book owners. And finally, as a WEEKLY WRITES book owner, you'll have free access to e-mail courses such as JOYFUL WRITES: Celebrate Your Life through Writing

    For excerpts, reviews and what you need to do to receive the 2 free e-books, Write Memories and sign up for free e-mail courses, just head on to the Weekly Writes Book Official Site. (Clicking on the link will open a new window.)

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