What is originality?
It's just undetected plagiarism.
If we're free from the burden of trying to be completely original, we can stop trying to make something out of nothing, and we can embrace influence instead of running away from it.
By Austin Kleon in his book Steal Like an Artist
The book starts with this line, and it's just more than enough to summarize the entire context of the book.
It's impossible for someone to be 100 percent original. The secret to doing good work is to make sure that we don't put so much pressure on the fact that we can't do original work.
"What is originality? Undetected plagiarism." - William Ralph Inge
It reminds us that we don't need to constantly reinvent the wheel or create something out of nothing. Instead, we can draw from the wealth of ideas and inspiration that already exist, allowing them to shape and inform our own work.
Kleon emphasizes that it's unrealistic to expect ourselves to be completely original.
Instead, he suggests that the key to doing good work lies in letting go of the pressure to be entirely unique. By embracing the influence of others, we can tap into a rich tapestry of ideas and perspectives, fueling our own creativity and enabling us to produce meaningful and impactful work.
So let us free ourselves from the burden of trying to be completely original and instead embrace the power of influence.