Is This Unoriginal, Or Is It Just A Shared Experience?
Thoughts on worrying if content is new enough to share
Do you ever read articles and think, I just wrote the same thing last week? Or do you finally push publish on a piece you worked hours or days on, only to find that someone else has already written about the same topic?
I imagine as I type this story, dozens of well-established writers have already written the same thing.
The thing is, we all have shared experiences. The trick is to get at what makes your experience, your unique experience.
We all cannot be named the authority on a certain topic. For example, many of us have the experience of growing up with (or without) a difficult parent. I write a lot about my relationship with my father. I know this not a new experience, original to me. No one grew up with my dad (except my sibling), but I write about my own perspective and hope that I get some healing out of it, or even better, a reader might get some healing from it. I am not the authority on having a difficult parent.
“Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.” — Abraham Lincoln
Some ways to make shared experiences original:
- Write a poem. Playing with language certainly gives your writing and your topic a new twist.
- Do some research. Read about your topic and see how other authors write about it. Do you agree or disagree with other authors? If your experience was different, write about it.
- Try writing about your topic from a new perspective. Has your thinking changed about the topic now that you are older?
- Try to write as if you are really in the moment. Try to capture the details so that you pull the readers in to your experience.
Stop worrying about if your story or content is original enough to publish. We all have our unique perspectives on life. Our shared experiences are invaluable, and you never know when your writing can change a person’s life.
© Samantha Lazar 2019
Thank you for reading. Here is my story about helping my father come home from the hospital. Maybe you will see your own experience in it.