Let’s face it: it is difficult to come up with something original, especially regarding writing. There appears to be no escape from the old saying “There is no such thing as an original idea.” It’s difficult to stick out in an already overcrowded space in the realm of writing and publishing and it takes a lot of effort to get you noticed by readers and potential publishers.
That does not mean that we should not try.
Often, many writers opt to follow trends and try to imitate what others are doing, only to end up joining the rest of the pack. It’s a quick cash-in, but it still won’t get any writers noticed if they do the same thing like everyone else with the same tropes, formulas, and clichés that litter the writing marketplace. If you are writing something that everyone else is doing-and you’re not really enjoying writing it-what is the point?
The most important aspect of doing your own original writing-whether it is in concept, characters, and/or setting-is that it will help you stand out from the rest of the group. Standing out gets you noticed more. This is true with any field (Business, art, etc.). Most importantly, you’ll have more fun with writing your original piece than you would working with a mold of overused tropes and clichés that’s been copied a dozen times before. As stated earlier, it is difficult to come up with an original idea but there are ways you can make the familiar fresh and put on a new spin on well-worn formulas and plots.
What techniques and methods can you implement? Start by pursuing individuality. Don’t worry so much about producing anything original and instead focus on what you want to write and what you’re interested in. This type of focus and interest can be infectious, especially if you outline and experiment with various plot points. Most importantly, the original piece you are writing is something that you care about by default. Whatever love and passion you pour into your project will be noticed by your readers. Draw from your own personal experiences and interests. Often a work is considered original if no one else has done it before, and the reason it has not been done before is because it has not been done by you, the writer. The piece is original because you are original, and the piece you are working on reflects on your individuality and what you enjoy writing about. Therefore, don’t focus on the originality aspect and focus on what you want to write and what narratives you want to show to the world.
As writers, we are all different. Take pride in your difference and show people something they have never seen before.