Hey internet! I know, I suck at running a blog, it’s been over a month blah blah blah. Anyway, my latest musing was about creativity, and what it means to create something. I’ve started thinking that being creative isn’t necessarily the same as being original. I think some messages are worth repeating, although little updates or tweaks can of course improve great stories over the years. And I should make clear that I’m talking about inspiration as opposed to downright plagiarism. But as I think John Green pointed out, in the technological age copyright is sort of a grey area anyway.
But what I am trying to say is that I really like how people’s creations are inspired and influenced by others. Think about any great work of art, literature, or anything else you admire as a creation – I don’t think you can fully appreciate them without considering the context in which they were created. Maybe the context is fairly vague, or changes as the works are updated, but it’s still needed. Shakespeare’s plays would make very little sense if you had never heard of love, or marriage, or food! (can you tell from the vagueness I haven’t read any in a while?)
Some people might view this as a bad thing – that hardly any ideas could be said to be truly original any more, that everything seems to have been done before (I think I’m paraphrasing Arthur Conan Doyle; forgive me). But I see it like this: we all wander around the world, living life, trying to find meaning in it. And creators take the ridiculous hodge-podge of human experience and act as filters. They absorb car adverts, family crises, books and small talk like the rest of us, and they give out a very specific response to that, distilled and edited and wrapped up, shiny and new.