Yesterday, something prompted me to ask my followers on Instagram what their take on being original is, and why they think it is important to be original. Their answers were more or less the same, but they all had very different takes on originality. Funnily enough, originality itself springs from a place of inspiration and, personally, I think that everything we do is a reflection of some original work, at its very core. That being said, I also think that no matter how inspired our works are, it is important for us to actually try to bring our own element into it, instead of simply doing what everybody else is doing.
None of us is innocent here. We’ve all, at some point, tried to be somebody else and do what they do. But the more important thing here is that we all will grow into individuals who will try to bring something of their own to the equation. Originality, after all, is just inspiration reflected in our own thoughts in a way that is truly ours, and nobody else’s. As an artist, I see so many different styles being practiced by my fellow artists and each one of them has perfected their own unique style. As a writer, I see my friends who are writers own a certain style of writing. I think that’s very cool how everyone is out there doing their own thing, or at least, trying.
Maybe there’s somebody out there doing the exact same thing as me because they want to see whether my style of writing is the best fit for them. But even if you do so, I would highly encourage you to try bringing your own element to it. Because, otherwise, you’re not trying to figure yourself out as a writer; you’re not really growing until you understand the fact that, sooner or later, you’ll still have to come up with your own style, even if it is inspired by somebody else’s. We’re all doing something inspired by somebody else, anyway.
Having said that, here are some of the takes that I got from people who follow me on Instagram:
My best friend, Anupriya (Amour Infini) had a similar take to mine. She said, “Being original is everything that makes you who you are. Even though every creation in this world has been inspired by something else, there is always something unique that you can add to it, to form a completely new creation. Your ideas should resonate through your work. That’s why originality is important. Everybody appreciates raw and messed-up but at the same time beautiful work, and that comes only with originality.”
Another one of my friends said, “Originality is natural and pure, but people fake things to survive in this world,” the context here being people who put on a fake persona because it helps them survive their social circles sometimes. And I agree. All of us have done this at some point because we didn’t have a way out of it.
One of the more interesting takes I got was “In my opinion, it’s good to be original but one shouldn’t let that stop them from learning good things from other people. What good is being original if we’re going to be rude about it?” This is a very real take on originality. I can tell you that when you’ve been friends with people for a long time, you subconsciously start adopting some of their qualities and mannerisms. It’s always a mutual exchange, and it’s a beautiful thing because it only ever helps you grow so much more as an individual.
Another take that got me thinking is “I don’t think that any thought we think is original; there’s always a fragment of it that has germinated from something that has been previously thought about, and everything that follows is a series of permutations and combinations of the way it can be thought of. I think that people who copy others lack the ability to create like some of us, yet they want to make an impact. Any artist would be hurt if their work was blatantly copied and it is wrong. They can take inspiration from the artist and try to create something different from it. It’s a process, at the end of the day, and they’d be able to do it if they tried.”
A similar take was “It’s more about being true to yourself than it is about being original, you know? You may have a work that somewhat echoes somebody else’s, but if it’s you on the presentation table, that matters more, personally speaking. I may have the most original work on display, but if it doesn’t reflect me (my past, present or what I want to be), it loses its value for me real quick.”
Two very similar takes I got were “Being authentic is very important in today’s day and age. Being inspired by something is totally different from copying somebody’s work,” and “Being original helps one stay true to their emotions and let themselves be vulnerable at times.” I truly feel that these two takes go hand-in-hand. It’s important to stay true to ourselves and not just try to be somebody else.
Two other takes that went together beautifully are that “Originality serves as your unique identity. It defines who you are,” and “Being original is important because there’s no point if everything is the same; there’s nothing special about duplicates.”
I think it’s beautiful how most of these takes mirror each other, but still have something different to say. That is exactly what originality is about and I hope everyone reading this learned a thing or two about it. Simply put, we’re all under the shadow of somebody when we try to copy their work; by adding our own element to it, we are trying to come out of that shadow. It’s how you do things your way and how you add your own element to it that truly matters.
Keep trying to discover what your unique style is.
The Shubhster. Xx
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