While creating my new class this week, "The Ins and Outs of Titles," I had a unique idea to share with my students so I sat and wrote it all out in great detail. The words poured out of me and when I was done, I thought, "That's one of the most original ideas I've ever had!"
Tonight, I Googled something scrapbook related and stumbled onto a blog by a person I've never met and barely heard of and found a post where she had written almost word for word my "original" idea. After about 10 seconds of dismayed surprise, I just shook my head and chuckled. If I had a nickel for every time this has happened to me since I've been a part of the creative community, I'd be wealthy now.
Every time it happens, I remember that we are all influenced by so many of the same ideas that some of us are bound to come to the same conclusions. Those of who think analytically about design and our craft often do so in a way that is very similar.
Part of me wishes I hadn't discovered my original idea was not so original and the other part considers it validation that I am on the right track with what I'm teaching. The point in my posting this is to remind us both of a truth I've heard 100 times over and it's this: there's nothing new under the sun.
No idea is entirely original. Our ideas are influenced by something we've heard or seen so all we can do is embrace that influence and be unique in our delivery and execution to make those ideas our own.
Honestly, most of what I see in the creative community reminds me of something I've already seen but I don't love it any less. I recognize that we all inspire each other. That's one reason I started the Live Inspired podcast: to celebrate and connect with the people who inspire me most.
I like to put these ideas out there for you to read because sometimes we see someone who is doing something that seems familiar and we're quick to judge that person for being unoriginal but we should always keep in mind that great minds DO think alike. I found that out for myself tonight!