“‘I have an idea, but I’m afraid it’s already been done.’ Well, yes it probably has already been done. Most things have already been done – but they have not yet been done by you.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
Words like these litter media headlines. And, I admit, I’ve taken the bait just to find out what was so unexpected and surprising. If there was a secret to know, I wanted to be among the privileged few with insider information. As one of my college professors regularly suggested, “he who has the information has the power.”
But I was disappointed. Because the information was not unexpected. And it wasn’t surprising. And it wasn’t mind-blowing.
It can be too easy to grow cynical in these situations. To feel taken advantage of at the expense of someone’s page views or SEO growth. It’s never fun being hoodwinked.
I often question the originality of what I write. More posts than I can recall have been scrapped for that very reason.
This is stale, overdone, passé.
But I’m reminded how, although there’s nothing new under the sun, there is still a message worth sharing. Truth, wonder, beauty – they endure. And they deserve to be told. Again and again.
So I will tell them. To a new audience. In my own way. Through my own perspective.
When inspiration seems dry and the words, images, or fill-in-the-blank just won’t come, go back to the start. What comes natural? What pours out of you? It’s the act of doing, of creating something that failed to exist before you did it. Therein lies the victory. Not through mass approval or viral status. But in the making of something from nothing.
That, my friends, is the magic.
So go out and recreate something today. Who cares if it’s old. Tell the story that’s already been told, but do it in a way only you can. That’s what Lin-Manuel Miranda did with Hamilton.
Snap a picture of your airplane’s wing or Times Square or the Eiffel or the Golden Gate. Build an homage, a replica even. Your efforts are a testament to those who have gone before, the influencers who have shaped your personal style and interests.
You may win a Tony. You may hear crickets.
Either way, just keep going.