“The magnificent talons, unbridled and asymmetrical, grasped the decaying carcass, lifting it high into the heavens, on wings of celestial despair.”
I’m pretty sure that sentence is original. No other person on the planet has penned that particular passage. At least I hope not.
I subscribe to the monkey theorem, that is, ‘give me a thousand monkeys at a thousand typewriters’, and they will eventually pen the works of William Shakespeare. Replace monkeys with three hundred million bloggers at three hundred million keyboards, and every topic imaginable is written, rewritten, reinvented, rejuvenated and rehashed. Every – single – line. Except for my gem above, of course.
And the point?
There’s nothing original left to write. Pessimistic view, but factual. Each week I brainstorm, rack my frontal lobe, jot down notes, research, evaluate, reevaluate, and abruptly toss the idea into the bin. Well not entirely. I keep notes on my bin deposits, the good, the bad, the cringe-worthy, in case a spark of creativity manifests itself at a later, inopportune time. Occasionally I pull something from the archives, but not often. The fundamental key is having the material available and accessible. I find nowadays if I don’t get it in writing immediately, much like a new password, it’s gone in sixty seconds.
My weekly writing process is rigid, yet simple. Upon topic selection, I brainstorm a catchy title, one that keeps me inspired while narrowing my focus and limiting my scope. Without limitations and boundaries, scope creep can transform that initial nugget of creative genius into a jumbled mass of ill-fated confusion, destined for the scrap pile. Step two is a web search, and alas, here’s where I discover the topic’s been done to death, and my original ‘catchy title’ has already been claimed. Not to worry. I’ve written enough articles to realize most topics have been done ad nauseam and I’ve yet to be proven wrong. As for catchy titles, I’ve penned some brilliant ones in the past, only to find I arrived at the party too late. Gems like; ‘Don’t cry for me Archie and Tina’ (years back), and more recently; ‘The Power of Positive Drinking’, which I later found was both a recorded song, and a Facebook Page – though I still reserve the right to use the title in an upcoming post, regardless. Stay tuned for that pearl of wisdom.
Which reaffirms the adage – nothing original exists under that blazing orb of perpetuity.
Years ago fewer of us wrote. Those who did rarely shared, opting to bury our private thoughts in the depths of a writing desk, way down at the bottom, beneath a pile of old Birthday and Christmas cards we could never quite part with. We all have such a drawer.
And then the world changed. The ability to share one’s voice, regardless of merit, became a simple sequence of keystrokes and mouse clicks; type – spellcheck – publish.
A thousand monkeys could do it.
And while most new Blogs fizzle out within three months, nothing deters the new sapling with visions of oak-hood. The circle of strife continues – one Blog dies, three are born. A blaze of new bloggers arise, forayed into the mix, searching for niches, topics, creative outlets, amidst a backdrop of an ever-shrinking Global Village. Which brings me back to the point.
What the hell is left to write about?
I’ll write about penguins.
The search for originality is elusive. There is nothing new under the sun, but creativity is unconstrained. Our uniqueness, life experiences, personal passions, set us apart from one another. We all have a voice, each worthy of being heard, I kid when I suggest otherwise. The difference is, some voices permeate the heavens, some the soul, some just ourselves.
No matter where your voice falls, use it.
There are things in life left to write about.
Until next time,