Can Reinventing the Wheel still be Original?

We all understand the phrase “reinventing the wheel“. This concept that personally haunts me as a creator. Originality is practically a necessity in not only being a successful as a creator but also to be proud of one’s work; at least for me anyway. For me, I want the things I create to be mine. Having influence from other people is expected and, in my mind, is ok. But it would be rather hurtful for my work to be considered a copy. That being said, there are only so many new ideas and concepts. So how does a creator go about finding originality while reinventing the wheel?

Be You

This advice sounds extremely obvious, mostly because it really is. It’s something that’s simple yet it’s something that can be very difficult. But why is this essential in maintaining originality? There is only one you. This was something that I had to learn, as strange as it sounds. I struggled with this in not just my writing, but in art and even in school. I thought that my work wasn’t creative or unique to me, almost creating a self- fulfilling prophecy in a lack or originality. But one day, a classmate and I were having a conversation about how to go about a subject we had in class. Though we were talking about the same topic, we addressed it in a way that wasn’t even close to similar. This one instance showed my that I do indeed think in a way that is unique to me. This is what I mean by “be you”. Think about things in a way that fits you and your style.

Make a Concept your Own

As I stated earlier, there are only so many concepts and ideas. Lets look at story concepts. There are a plethora of stories about a boy meeting the new girl in romance novels. And yet, there are so many different books and movies that touch or focus on this concept. Let’s look at the movies “Everything, Everything” and “Fault in Our Stars”. Both books are about romance between two young people and involve an illness. And yet, both these movies (and their respective books) are completely different. This is the same in many other genres. There are creative works that are comparable but their creators made the concept their own. That’s the beauty of creativity and story telling; there’s no one way to tell the same story.

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