A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a high school student who was struggling to produce a potential college application essay. "Nothing interesting has ever happened to me," she said. We went through a number of potential topics based on some idea generation activities we did, but she dismissed them all as "too basic" or "unoriginal."
I stopped her here and said, "You're right. People have probably read an essay about this topic before. But they haven't read your essay about this topic."
If you write about something other people are talking about, but you do it from your unique point of view, then you are breathing new life into it. The key, however, is to write authentically from your own perspective, to infuse the work with details that only you can muster because only you are you.
Therefore, stay true to your experience and your writing, even if it's about a story you think others have heard before, will leap off the page and be dubbed "original."
In the end, idiosyncrasy is the only option.
If you're reading this and haven't subscribed yet, please consider doing so! You'll get inwy "Workables" (and more) delivered right to your inbox. If you are a subscriber and you find inwy is bringing value to your practice, consider becoming a donor. What do you have to lose? Well...a few bucks, I suppose. :)
If you have thoughts about this edition, please feel free to get in touch with me:
- You can find me on Twitter: @sbhebert.
- If you're a subscriber, you can click "Contact Support" in the account portal and send me an email.
I'd love to hear from you!