Whenever I am asked, and alternatively required to compose an original piece of writing for a particular purpose, this otherwise enjoyable task is often hindered by an unsettling sense of apprehension at the prospect of failing to be creative.
A professor in a persuasive writing course recently established that one must read at least twice as much as one writes in order to perfect the latter art. Yet one cannot help but escape the impression that the more you read, that is the more you learn of the world and of man’s richly diverse experiences of appreciating it, the less you are capable of conjuring an approach for its appreciation that is inherently your own. The process of discovering the world is conducive then to a creative drought, leaving the mind thirsty for original and novel thought. The mind stumbles into an abysmal fall wherein the spark of creative thought remains the sole safeguard against the shattering landing.
Comes then the infallible question: why bother at all? If indeed everything you have to express has already been done so, and in most likelihood more eloquently and appealingly so, why strive for creativity at all? Why not merely give in to the numb reprisal and repetition of that which has demonstrated steady resolve over the course of time?
The only believable answer I’ve been able to come up with, which would offer a hint of solace to an otherwise depressing realisation is that the occasional enchanting thought, or appealing word construct, what George Orwell defines as aesthetic enthusiasm (See? Even here on must refer to another’s definition to allow for the most exact wording of one’s own ideas. Ironic, isn’t it?), that do emanate from within in the overwhelming noise of writing that pervades our lives serves to perpetuate an otherwise diminishing sense of Beauty. Our unconscious reprisal of previously expressed human truths and experiences under the veil of a seemingly “creative” approach ultimately allows for their perpetuation and therefore survival.
So maybe ignorance is bliss. The less we know about something, the better we are capable of fooling ourselves into believing that a particular gust of thoughtful wind carries with it a drop of originality.
Orwell, G. (1946). Why I Write? Retrieved from http://orwell.ru/library/essays/wiw/english/e_wiw