Originality is a Myth. Or is it?

Writing is a lot harder than most people think. And a lot of people don’t think it’s easy, at that. It’s impossible to be original, especially since often you’ll find that you unconsciously write tropes into your stories. I know this process happens unconsciously because I wrote tropes into a book before I even learned about those tropes. All of these things have existed for thousands of years, so a writer has to try insanely hard to do something new, and even then you’ll find yourself accidentally making something that already exists.

Have you ever tried to come up with your own tune? If you had to invent a hit song right now, could you make a unique chorus? Often times when I’ve tried similar things I’ll start accidentally humming a familiar song or thinking about characters in books I’ve read.

So the solution to this problem that I’ve found works best is to ignore it. There are a reason these cliche tropes exist: they work. There is almost no way to avoid them, and making something completely original with no cliches at all would probably end up making a boring read. So, don’t try to add cliches into your stories, but don’t take action to evade them, either. People enjoy familiarity with a twist, and the easiest twist you can put into a story like this is just to write it. No two people would write the same story the same way.

For example, one person may write about the “virtuous hero that is betrayed by the people he works to save in the hour that he needs them most”. We’ve all heard that one before, but hearing it again is never quite the same. The setting will be different, the hero will be different, the people will be different, and/or the evil he is trying to save them from will be different. Even if three of those four things aren’t different, that last difference still makes for a completely different story.

So nobody will be completely unique, but with as many people on this planet as there are, we don’t have to be. We are all unique enough. Even in every different alternate universe that exists, all the yous out there aren’t quite you.

So don’t worry that your story sounds too much like a book you read, or your song sounds too much like the music you listen to. What matters is the fact that it isn’t quite the same. And since you can’t please everybody, there will be those that will always prefer one’s work over another. Let’s say I have everybody on Earth read some of my writing, and then some writing of some famous author. There will be those that prefer mine, even if the vast majority will prefer the real writing. This goes for basically everything in life.You may not ever be able to please everybody, but the flip side of that coin says that you will always be able to please somebody.

That’s why people with low standards exist.

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”  — Dr. Seuss

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