This is the last of Linda’s guest contributions, a topic near and dear to me, as I drown in regurgitated news items sent to me via social media and thirst for original insights that make us progress as a species. Thank you, Linda for joining my blog. Shane
Make your world – by Linda LaRoche
This week I had a former student ask me if he could use the title of my book. I pointed out how as a native-English speaker, he could come up with his own title. I neglected to point out that I’ve had a copyright on it with the Library of Congress since 2008. As an exercise in my creative writing class on characterization, I read students a sample paragraph and asked them to write on the facial features of a character they know well. Some choose to use the same words in the same context I had read aloud. The problem is, we tend to be blind to our own mistakes — and without a teacher or an editor, we keep making the same ones over again!
According to the Global Language Monitor, published May 18, 2011, there are over one million words in the English language. And while I understand that many works of art are derivative, such as a blog, where we link to one another, commenting on something that has been said or done by someone else, adding our bit of wisdom, but borrowing from one another, I ask– where is original thought?
Art is a noble quest. I know a few writers who won’t read while they in are in a writing mode just so they can be assured that their words are uniquely their own. I’m a believer that as part of the race of man we share some of the same creative ideas on the spiritual plane. But how we choose to interpret what is in us makes us distinct and adds style. Good writing involves a love of language. Using your own words comes down to original thought. A thought is tied to a string of personal memories, biased and uniquely yours: original in every sense. And isn’t creativity whereby a person creates something new from what is inside them?
It takes work to reconsider what you are trying to say. It involves the need to improve the content of your material, looking for a whole new aspect of the issue, and in the end, to express it in a fresh way. The Creator has a Master Plan