My Least Original Post Yet

I was a good student in school. I studied, got good grades and was well-liked by my teachers. And yet, after each good report card I received, I’d wonder how the hell I’d pull it off again the next semester. I didn’t trust my intelligence, but credited circumstances instead, like, I mean, who didn’t get an A in Mr. Marcet’s class???

It’s the same with my writing. I let the circumstances of my last piece—did it get published, liked or shared?—to gauge the likelihood that I will ever be a real writer (and yes, I mean to imply air quotes there). (Also, no matter how well-intentioned you may be, please don’t invoke the platitude that anyone who writes is a writer. I don’t buy that high-fructose corn syrup for a second; Otherwise, I’m also a pisser and a drunk.) ;)

I feel this pressure most keenly when it comes time to choose a topic for this blog. I want to choose something interesting, and that people will remember and find original. Because Duh! ‘Real’ writers have to have original ideas every single time they write something.


Just last week, I heard the exact same movie line (“the call is coming from inside the house”) from the same obscure 1979 movie (When a Stranger Calls) in three different TV shows: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central), Dog with a Blog (The Disney Channel) & The Millers (CBS)!

Besides, what does ‘original’ even mean?

I’m so unoriginal that I turned to BrainyQuote to find out. Here’s what one dead guy said:

What is originality? Undetected plagiarism.
– William Ralph Inge

Great. Now I’m a plagiarist.


And just for the sake of argument, could he be offering me absolution through his words?

Because listen to what this dead guy said:

There are no new ideas. There are only new ways of making them felt.
– Audre Lorde

So here’s what I’m thinking: maybe what I write about isn’t what makes me a writer but how I write about it can/does. What if, and I’m just spitballing here, but what if I can be a ‘real’ writer even when I write about something unoriginal? Or [gasp!] uninspired? It’s worth a shot.

Do you think I can still be a real writer if I don’t write anything at all but play around with the keyboard instead, like this?

      ***********                  ***********
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 *********************        *********************
***********************      ***********************
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*************************  *************************

I mean, talk about original! When’s the last time you’ve seen ASCII art??? Oh, you saw last week’s article in the Atlantic too? Nevermind then.

In short, I can’t promise that I’ll always have something original to say, or that what I write isn’t based on umpteen of thousands of thoughts and images I consume every month. But I do promise to write whatever I write in my own, unique way.

So until next month, Happy Valentine’s Day and thanks for stopping by to read my unoriginal thoughts.