Originality, or the lack of it


I write one of these blog entries every day. (Well, not literally. I write three or four at a time, and I publish them online so that one appears every day.)

I’ve been keeping it up for almost three years. A page (more or less) a day, for three years. Yikes!

I do not limit myself. I write about politics, and movie reviews, and personal reminiscences. Sometimes I just ruminate. I write about botany and astronomy. I write about whatever comes to mind.

But am I creating anything? I don’t know.

I have turned out reams of stuff. Is any of it new? Or valuable? Or worthwhile?

Or original?

Apollonia, my colleague and nemesis, reminds me constantly that my conversation is nothing but quotations. I quote “Seinfeld.” I quote “The Simpsons.” I quote Woody Allen movies, and Walt Whitman, and Tolstoy, and J. K. Rowling.

Which makes me wonder: is every sentence I write an unconscious quote from something else? Am I always echoing some forgotten source?

This is the curse of a retentive memory. I don’t call it a “good” memory; it’s been a headache more often than not. I can’t forget things. I remember irrelevant details. I remember stupid song lyrics, and unimportant movie dialogue, and sometimes even the tone of voice in which the dialogue was delivered.

So probably I will never write a word that’s truly original.

Ah well. I manage to stay pretty jolly.

(That last line is a quote, by the way. Ten dollars to the first reader who can tell me where it’s from!)


About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

2 Responses to Originality, or the lack of it

  1. I certainly enjoy your blog.

    I love it when I get an entry on mine written in advance so I can take a day off from the blog!

    • I try to stay a couple of weeks ahead at least. Then, if I write something really contemporary or timely, I can juggle the dates and move them around. It’s a struggle, but hey, it’s fun. And it keeps me writing, and thinking.

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