Does Originality Still Exist?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016
*Originally published January 2016* 


When I went to college in the Fall of 2009, my creative writing professor quickly introduced me to Anne Lamott. This quirky, fiery author speaks boldly about her faith, being a single mom, and some other tough issues, but she also talks about finding our voice through writing. Anne Lamott first made me realize that everyone out there has something to say, whether they know how to say it or not. She also showed me that every writer has originality, because we all have our own writing voice.
“If something inside of you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal. So you must risk placing real emotion at the center of your work. Write straight into the emotional center of things. Write toward vulnerability..."
-Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird
This truth has stuck with me as a blogger. When I have a post idea that I'd like to write about, but then I see that someone has already written on the subject and done a very good job, my natural reaction is to shrink back and decide that I could not write it as well as the other person did. I also tend to feel that if I write the "same" post as someone else, then I am not being original. But I could never write the same post as someone else. This is because no one can write something the same way that I do. I am not the same as another blogger, which is precisely why I have something to offer.

It's easy to feel like we can't measure up, but we can. There is always a risk when we put ourselves out there- allowing the whole world to peer into our souls through our written words. But when we realize that our words are powerful, and that we have the ability to make a real difference, then it is much easier to keep on typing. We can't (and shouldn't) write a post in the same way someone else did, but what we can do is write a post with honesty-with love- and we can share it in hopes of reaching someone who needed to read what we wrote, in the way that we wrote it.

Different people connect with and understand different styles of writing. My husband can read something and report to me that it was excellent. However, I may read the same thing and get absolutely nothing out of it.



Why is this?

It's because every author writes in their own voice. This means that every single writer out there has originality, because no one else can write exactly the way they do. And in the same way, each reader is going to connect with the text in a different way. What speaks to me will mean nothing to another. What helps someone else may not help me at all. And that's ok.

The fact of the matter is, originality does still exist. We may write about the same topics, but we will never bring it to life in the same way. There are some people that my writing will never help, but there are other people who need my writing. They will be helped by me (really by God) in a way that no one else has helped them.

So next time you are tempted to put down your pen or close your laptop because you feel like you have nothing left to say, remember that you do have originality, and you absolutely have something important to say. Harness it, write it, and share it.


Do you believe you have something important to say? Why or why not?


23 comments

  1. Lovely post. I think we all have something important to say and we can all say things in a different way. As a coach, writer and blogger, much of what I write about has been covered before, probably all of it. But no-one is me, no-one has had my experiences, no-one has had the same convesations and most importantly no-one has my voice. Keep sharing your own unique voice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! I agree. I am sure most of my posts have been done in one way or another too, but I know my work is still original :) Thank you for reading!

      Delete
  2. AMEN! You do you, because YOU are unique. No one else like you exists, so *that* is your golden ticket!

    Coming Up Roses

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Exactly! I'm glad you liked the post, Erica. Thank you for reading!

      Delete
  3. Thank you for this post! Very encouraging! It's easy to get discouraged and feel like you have nothing to add - when you're right - we all have our own unique take on things and people can respond to different formats!
    ~Mattie
    www.mattiesmakings.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! We do, which is an awesome thing! I'm glad it was encouraging :)

      Delete
  4. Loved this - such a great reminder!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Girl, this is so true. Sometimes it can be so disheartening to know that whatever I decide to write about it, someone else has already written about it. It's frustrating sometimes! But I KNOW I have a unique voice, and I know that's a big part of why my readers enjoy my blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Exactly! I want people to know that what hey have to say is important. :)

      Delete
  6. I have all too often been here! I truly do believe that you can be authentic and original. I've had plenty of ideas that I've wanted to write about but felt shut down because I read someone else's awesome post. Thanks for inspiring me to be original and to write anyway!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are very welcome! You really do have your own voice and it is so awesome to know you and other bloggers. We all "do the same thing" and yet we are all so different!

      Delete
  7. Absolutely! This is a big motivation behind why I write. Sure, the same themes pop up again and again--but that doesn't make writing or creating boring--because there are as many unique angles as there are people telling stories!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! So true, Rachel! Keep writing!

      Delete
  8. I think everyone has something important to say. Messages may overlap, but we all have something unique to contribute! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I do believe I have something important to say that flows from my heart! - Love the concept you speak here and I have to say that your blog represents very well originality. Every person must be original in everything that they do. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, Tayrina! I appreciate that!

      Delete
  10. Thank you for writing this!! :) Originality does exist!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love Anne Lamott and Bird by Bird. :) This is so true. It's something that's talked about a lot with fiction, too. If you have an idea that you're working on and you see that there's a book that will be coming out that sounds similar, it doesn't mean that you have to stop writing your book because no one can tell the story that YOU are going to tell. Your story is unique.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, Crystal! Exactly!
      Thank you for reading!

      Delete
  12. I love this! Thank you for the encouragement. It's so easy to shrink back and shrink away or question if you really heard the message or calling placed on your life when you look and see someone else doing what you thought YOU were supposed to do. But we all have a unique calling and a unique voice to share similar messages. Great post!

    ReplyDelete

Affiliates