Ever have an idea that sounds so good but ever think Wait, am I inspired or am I copying from something else?
It is easy to have that type of thought process, which brings to the issue of inspiration vs. plagiarism. A more in-depth analysis between inspiration and plagiarism can be found in this link.
Plagiarism is directly copying from someone else’s work. This practice is not recommended and definitely not acceptable. Plagiarizing destroys careers, can get you expelled from schools and universities, and introduce a whole load of legal issues. Worse of all, plagiarizing a work is not original and will also get you major flak from readers and critics alike, as well as the original creator you stole it from.
Inspiration, on the other side of the coin, is a driving force to create new pieces of work. Inspiration can come from existing works but they can also come from a number of other sources, such as your own experience, imagination, and observations to even different works in other mediums unrelated to the source that inspired you in the first place. The goal with drawing inspiration is to be as original as possible.
One way of drawing inspiration is asking yourself why your favorite pieces of writing and other media are so inspiring. Analyze why they are so powerful to you. Apply unique elements to what inspired you to make a truly original work. Most importantly of all, mention the influences and inspirations that led to this type of writing that you are creating. Most importantly, have fun with it and experiment with the piece. Experimentation often leads to original results.
Also, do not compare yourself to the other creators who made the pieces you love and helped inspire you. You have the potential to make a mark of your own with your originality. Often, the creative process is one of the most engaging phases of writing a new piece of literature. Document the creative process, especially to check if the elements you are working with are original enough.
Overall, originality is the key. Be inspired and make something that would help inspire others in turn.