For language arts class, I needed to pick a classic to read, so I went to the library in search of a book that could be considered a classic. It is too bad that I read Little Men last trimester, since that would count as a classic. Unfortunately, the library's teen section's books had been moved elsewhere. I was easily able to locate the fiction books, but I couldn't find the classics at first. Finally, after some wandering, I found the classics section and started browsing.
I eventually decided upon The Story of My Life, written by Helen Keller. I really didn't know much about Helen Keller before now, besides that she went blind and deaf from an illness and that she was taught by a woman named Anne Sullivan. Apparently the "breakthrough" for teaching Helen words was when she felt running water on her hand and Anne Sullivan spelled out water into her hand.
One of the things that I found interesting was that Helen Keller once got into trouble for plagiarism. She had written a story which she called "The Frost King". Her friend, Mr. Anagnos, liked the story very much. Apparently someone saw the story Helen had written and remarked that it was very similar to another story called "The Frost Fairies". Helen did not remember having read that story, but apparently she had, to have written something similar. Helen said that Mr. Anagnos then believed that Helen and Ms. Sullivan had deceived him and tried to earn his favor with "The Frost King", and so in the book Helen said she was saddened to have lost his friendship.
Being creative is a pretty difficult challenge in this world. Sometimes people become famous because they were simply lucky enough to be the first to come up with an idea that becomes popular. Skill is of course still a factor in being successful (but not necessarily the biggest part; I am sorry if you are a fan of the Twilight series, but I found it rather bland for the most part) but you may still be able to get readers even if your writing is not the most sophisticated.
Sometimes people will get the same idea as you, and you have to fight to be the first to get it out there. If you are second, you'll be accused of copying them, even if you hadn't meant to. And sometimes you might accidentally write something that has actually already been put out there. Or it could be like with Helen Keller, forgetting that you had actually seen something before, and confused it with your own imagination.
I heard something mentioned on the radio as well. You also have to be careful if you're a musician. Someone on the radio said, "It either has to be completely original, or really, really good." If you have a song with similarities to other songs, you'll get attacked by people. It's pretty challenging to be creative. Keep that in mind if you think, "Oh, this is so overused," or "There's just no creativity anymore." I fear that perhaps all the good ideas are getting used up, like our Earth's resources...That would be a real shame, so I hope it is not so. But who knows?
Labels: accident, books, classic, creativity, first, forget, helen keller, ideas, inspiration, language arts, library, little men, music, originality, plagiarize, race, song, the story of my life, writing