Is Originality Possible?

By Kristian Buckner | Jun 27, 2013

There's something called writer's block. Heard of it?

If writer's block were an illness I would frequently be plagued. (That's why I don't always write every week, or on time.) In the vast world or art and technology, with everyone's ability to share everything at any given moment, how is it possible to make any original work?

Maybe it's not.

See, that's the problem. Everything has been done already and something new and incredibly different would have to change in the world, like real aliens touching down on Earth for instance, for something new to really be "new." Yet, then the news would get that first. Is there anything really that is original and creative that hasn't been done? Is there advice that hasn't been given? Is there words that haven't been said? Maybe they've been said, just not documented.

I was thinking about that the other day on my way home from work, but I didn't know how to say it, or if it even deserved to be said. (Especially since it's probably already been said.) The real question entirely is:

How does an artist survive with no really "new materials" in the world, especially writers?

Someone, somewhere, at some point once said: "We write what we know." And well, it's true. Writers can only really write what they know. I can only really write about experiences I know about, things I heard of, memories I have of people. It's sort of like our dreams. Our minds don't, and can't come up with genuinely new things. Every face in our dreams, every voice that we hear, even if put together in a different way are all bits and pieces of things we've experienced.

So what's the point?

What's the point in creating when something like it has already been done? Is originality really possible or are we doomed to be stuck inside a realm of pre-made molds for us to fill, take out, and call "new?"


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