The Concept of Originality

Yesterday I wrote “On Writing, Topics & Focus”. AsĀ  I went through the topics I found interesting I thought of poetry and literature. Poetry and literature are part of the tradition of passing on stories and experiences. The passed on stories and experiences are connected to the people who share them. Sometimes the person who shared is the author, the interpreter or just a messenger. When the story or experience is assumed to be from a specific person and true, it is original.

The concept of originality is one that either stands or falls with trust and credibility. When the listener trusts the teller of stories and experiences and believes the what is told, the listener will regard the new information as original. When there is no trust and no belief in whatever is told, the stories and experiences are just strings of words without value.

When it comes to artists and professionals in all kinds of fields originality is valuable. Having an original idea or an original presentation then is something that can attract audiences and clients. Being original makes you more distinct. In industry and technology it is even more important to be original as patents and licenses are assets. The original invention and application of technology can give a company a huge advantage.

In particular in music and arts originality is a matter of giving and taking. There is your original creation and there are the influences for your original creations. Next there are others who are influenced by your original creations. Inspiration leads to creation, creation leads to inspiration and the cycle continues. When this cycle is obstructed the creative processes slow down or stop.

There is another aspect to originality and acknowledging original creations and works. This aspect is appreciation. In some cultures the creators and inventors are appreciated, in some cultures only the creations and works matter. Whatever the case may be, without some appreciation for the efforts of creators and inventors there is no incentive for them to even share their creations and works.

Originality is a complex matter. What is simple is that when people put effort into a creations and works and they are not appreciated for their efforts, do not expect them to come back. For me the biggest sign of appreciation is a simple “thank you”.

In the world of today though, often money talks…