Originality? What is it? How do you find it? And how do you define it?
These are some of the questions I have been pondering lately. Over the last few weeks, I have heard discussions about people copying materials and ideas, copying what others have been doing and then passing it as theirs; without an mention of where it came from or influenced from.
So the pondering question has been, how do you find and make original material?
The quick answer is do it yourself and make it from scratch. Don’t look towards others for influence and also don’t pay attention to what others are doing. But if you think about it; that is easier said than done. In this day and age it is so easy to see what others do and the ease of acquiring knowledge it makes it almost impossible to avoid any influence. And chances are you have already been influenced in one form or another.
For example, this blog that you are reading isn’t the most original of ideas. There are thousands of blogs out there and there are countless personal ones that talk about normal daily life like the ones I have written here so far. And this topic alone, I’m sure has been discussed and posted previously by others.
So then how do you create original material.
One idea is to “steal” it from many artist. Last week on Chase Jarvis LIVE guest Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like an Artist, discussed the idea of; Stealing like an Artist. The idea at first seems far fetched. What?! Steal?! The idea doesn’t really mean to just steal without reason. Taking from one artist is stealing but taking from many artist is research! The reason for this is easy to see and understand. It means that sometimes you need that extra push and understanding to get you to the next step. Learn a skill that you didn’t know before. Borrow. Learn. Create.
Another however more extreme idea is to go on a trek of self discovery. Disconnect…find yourself…leave what is familiar to you, and let the unknown and journey help you to find the next idea. And then pray that the idea is original.
But here comes the problem; you can’t completely disconnect from the situation because you have already been influenced by other things that you carry with you always even if you disconnect from the world. From when you are born you have already been influenced.
See the problem? So how do you make original content? Yes that’s a repeat.
Here’s my idea. You make original content by ALWAYS KEEPING A NOTEBOOK WITH YOU. Have a stream of conscience and document. No matter how small or far fetch the idea. Just write down, let it stew, and then when you know the timing and feeling is right. Do something with it. Simple right. Well I’m imagining that this is not so,etching that happens overnight or over a couple of days. This kind of thing will take place over weeks, months, and even years. You need the different influences to be your guiding principles and let that guide and lead you to the next step. It seriously is about the journey not your destination that is important. Yes that has been beat to the bones over time but it is true!