The One and Only

"There are no original ideas.  There are only original people." - Barbara Grizzuti Harrsion "No idea's original/there's nothin' new under the sun/it's never what you do/but how it's done." - Nas

Originality isn't easy to come by.  For a creative*, that's a tough pill to swallow.  Originality is what makes you stand out, what sets you apart from the rest of the crowd, hence it being "original."  Of course, it normally helps if it's also good and desirable.

You can be as original as you want, but if you're no good, does it really matter?  And if you're terribly original but not at something anyone cares about, then who's going to notice?  Obviously you can be both good and desirable but not original at all, but that probably means whatever you're doing will never last.  It's the originality that's key.

And it's the quest for originality that often keeps me up at night.  I'm one of those people that just isn't okay with being like someone else, or copying someone else's idea (whether I improve on it or not).  And when I find myself doing just that, which I too often do, I hate it.  I wonder what worth there could possibly be in what I'm doing.

Of course the worst is when I acutally have an original idea only to come to find out that it isn't original whatsoever.  Someone else is doing it or has already done it or is about to do it.  If it's someone really incredible at what they do, then at least it's a bit flattering or encouraging 'cause it tells me I actually know what I'm doing.  But it's always followed by the sickening revulsion that someone beat me to the punch.

As a creative who believes in God, things get even more complicated.  I serve the Creator, the source of all creation and creativity, the one who is so original there is literally no one and nothing like Him.  All things good, true, and worthy come from Him.  I seek Him and the things of Him above all, forsaking anything else.  So, when I get an idea I believe to be from Him, that He wishes me to specifically develop for whatever reason, only to discover it's unoriginality, I struggle... to say the least.

I'm not really talking about anything specific.  I'm not even sure why I felt the desire to write this post.  It's late, and this just happened to be something I was thinking about.

So, there you go.  What do you think?

*By "creative" I mean anyone who is involved in thinking up and developing new ideas.  This obviously covers a wide range of people and vocations.  So, when I consider myself a "creative," I'm not really inducting myself into some terribly exclusive group of people.

On another topic, footnotes are a new thing for this blog.  I'm not sure how I feel about them.  "Academic" comes to mind, and I've never particularly cared for that word.