Nothing’s Original

Alex: I feel like EVERYTHING has been done before. It’s annoying and irritating and makes me want to pull my hair out and kick my computer screen off my desk and scream like a child who just found out that Christmas isn’t happening this year. While I was writing a scene  last night, I thought of a concept for my next pilot. Later, after I was done writing, I danced with the new idea for a bit. I decided to do a little research and within 30 seconds I discovered it’s already been made into a show. I put away my phone and pouted like a little girl until I fell asleep. Why? WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY!?
Nik: My first pilot was in development until the network called and said they were passing on the project because it was in conflict with a show that had been picked up to series.  And by ‘in conflict’ they meant that it was too similar.  So.  I’ve been there.  And it sucks.  But it happens and it happens all the time. Not long after, I found myself at this great art exhibit at the Whitney Museum in New York and it was life changing.  The show had pieces from all the greats hanging in couplets–I can’t remember exactly, but it was something like Picasso’s Bathers with Beach Ball hanging next to Nudes With Beach Ball by Roy Lichtenstein and so on.  They were clearly inspired by one or the other.  They were of the same subject, but in the artist’s own style and medium.  It’s the same with music.  And it’s the same with writing.  Very little is 100% original.  It’s almost impossible to achieve.  But you know what’s original?  YOUR voice.  Not one single person has your voice or your experience or your spin on the story that you want to tell.  If your idea is already out there, then figure out a way to make it new.  Add your vision and your voice and make the idea YOURS.  If it’s something that has been done, ask yourself how you can make it fresh.
Alex: You just gave me goosepimples! You are so right. You’re always right. I don’t know what I did to deserve such a smart mentor but I sure am thankful. I copied and pasted this response into my phone so I can read it whenever I’m frustrated with this subject. I do have a voice and I’m excited to share it with the world. A wise woman once said, “There’s a storm in my head, the world should take cover.” ;)
Nik: If only we had more twitter followers to see those nuggets.
Alex: Ugh… I haven’t had chicken nuggets in so long.
Nik: Me either. Let’s tweet about it.
Alex: And eat about it.

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