You should become a thief

You should become a thief

I took a creative writing course during my undergrad. I loved the class and the professor who taught it. One piece of advice she gave her students that we all thought she was fucking nuts for (at first) was to steal material from other writers. Every single college course I’ve ever taken included some mention of avoiding plagiarism. So I thought she had to be kidding.

But she didn’t mean steal content word for word. She meant ideas and concepts. She wanted us to take one little concept we saw somewhere else and work with it to create something totally unique and innovative. How often can people really come up with a totally new and inventive idea? Her suggestion was to not even waste our time trying.

This concept works applies to more than just creative writing. It works in life too.

If you see something working for someone else, give it a shot for yourself. Then work with it and tweak it until it’s uniquely yours. Then pass it on to others who can do the same.

Sometimes we get caught up in either coming up with something totally original or following directions perfectly. But usually the best bet is somewhere in the middle. Borrow a little creativity from one source and add in a sprinkle of your own unique ass self.

For me, that was meditation. Everything I’d heard about meditation wasn’t working for me. So I took the idea of quieting my mind and learning to neutrally recognize my thoughts and made it into something that works for me. Staring out my office window watching critters in the morning and coloring in my Game of Thrones coloring book at night (yes, I swear I’m an adult, I just refuse to act like it). More “traditional” forms of meditation may not work for me, but the concept does.

So steal shit and make your life better with it. (As long as the shit you’re stealing is an idea and not actual stuff, you’re probably good.)

WOW...who wrote this?!

WOW...who wrote this?!

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