The Paralyzed Unoriginal: Eight Ways to Get Over It

1:58 PM

I'll never forget the day that my ninth grade history teacher crumbled my world. She told us that we are failures at being unique. I hated her because she was right. I had taken every idea from something else. I'm inspired by magazines, movies, celebrities, everyday people, landscapes, room designs, symbols, and so much more. Sometimes those things inspired me to come up with my own ideas. That's great until I jumped on the internet only to find dozens of others just like me.

My thoughts, feelings, and emotions are just like everyone else. We live in a web of humans collecting ideas from each other. Sometimes this realization freezes me into doing nothing. However, despite there being a million others who do it just like me there is no one who is me entirely. I am an original manuscript even if I steal my ideas from around me. And who cares if there's a million blogs just like mine? I write because I love to and my only desire is that it will continue a line of copy cats and inspired people. It's a balance between knowing that you aren't completely original and still striving to be different.

Here are a couple hints:

1. Write about yourself. Sure, you may experience things similarly or even the same as others but no one experiences all that you do. Your total sum of life adds up to an original sequence of DNA. This doesn't that all you do has to be about yourself or even written in first person point of view. It's about using your experiences to inspire your work.

2. People watch. Observe strangers and take notes on their behavior. Let other humans be your inspiration. Embrace the fact that others will help you.

3. Take pictures of what you see. Even if you aren't a photographer and all you have is your phone camera. You are the only person who will see things through your eyes. Sure, someone can stand in the same place as you and take the same picture but that does not come along with your thoughts and perceptions.

4. Whenever possible, don't copy. Don't directly steal ideas. Use your experiences and ideas from others to create something that is true. If there's a bunch of others doing it too, decide whether it's worth it to continue with the project.

5. Explore new places. Don't stay stagnant. Remove yourself from your normal scenery and community. Find out what the rest of the world is like.

6. Try new things. Pick up a new hobby. Eat new foods. Wear something different.

7. Don't put yourself in a box. Avoid trying to label yourself. You are person built by many different things. Don't define yourself.

8. Just do something. Be confident. Don't allow the fear of failing stop you. This may be cliche but just do what you like and forget about everything else.

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About me

Regina is a junior at a small college in the middle of nowhere. She dreams of moving to California, painting, writing letters, thrifting, and cuddling with a dog.

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