I read a rather interesting post that took a bit of a self-deprecating tone about blogging.
Along with the feeling of insignificance that no one was reading their work, one of the authors concerns was that by blogging they were not contributing anything new.
From what I remember of the post they even said something like “I could just be another self-improvement blog passing on the same information.”
The reason it took me a year to start a blog was partly because I wanted to do something new and different.
Fitness was my main interest at the time, but by using the barrier of “I need to be original” all I saw where the hundreds of thousands of blogs, websites and YouTube channels that covered the area of fitness and nutrition.
Comparing myself to others that way I was always going to be inferior.
I thought: What right do I have to talk about fitness:
I’m not even qualified
Not as jacked as that guy
Not as lean as that guy
Have a poor diet in comparison
[Insert any excuses I could think of here]
There just got to a point where I thought I might as well start writing something. I never had the delusion I was competing with something like bodybuilding.com, I was just writing for pleasure and enjoyment.
My insight into the issue of originality is that if you are wanting to do a profound original idea then you will be very much disappointed.
The trick is to find something and make it better. Be more innovative, add a personal approach, find a niche.
“Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.”
– Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
Here I have talked about originality from a blogging perspective but it can easily be applied to other areas like the Business world.
Do you think Starbucks was the first coffee shop? Apple was the first computer? Enterprise Rent-a-car was the first car rental place?
No, all they did was take on someone elses idea and make it better, make it their own.
And that’s when the real innovation can begin. With the invention of the steam engine by James Watts, a guy named George Stephenson was able to take this invention and create the steam train – the most important invention of the 19th Century.
Imagine if he had sat down and thought “Nah, everyone’s trying to invent something using the steam engine, I need to be original”
We wouldn’t have the ability to move across country so quickly today.
So don’t worry about whether what you write is original or not, whether it has been said a thousand times. Throughout humanity there have been great people who have taken an established idea and managed to create something new and benefit society as a whole. Perhaps it might be you?
All my thoughts are unoriginal. I imagine what I write is influenced by things I have read from greater thinkers and my own personal human conditioning.
And going back to the “I could just be another self-improvement blog passing on the same information.”
Yes you could be, but the greatest thing about humans is our ability to share tried and test knowledge amongst each other until something new and original comes along to challenge that thinking, which eventually replaces it – then that becomes the established knowledge!
I am not going to stop out of fear that I am not saying anything new and neither should you.