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How does an aspiring writer avoid recycling the words of other writers?

I am an aspiring writer. Sometimes, the line between drawing ideas or inspiration from another writer and merely copying their formulations isn't clear to me -- particularly since I'm writing in Dutch. What would you suggest?

Yernaz Ramautarsing , 28.09.2011, 02:56
Idea status: under consideration


Chris Speciale, 19.09.2013, 09:02
After being a writer for ten years, I think I can offer a sufficient answer.

Recognize that you do not need to be creative all the time. Sometimes the simple works just fine. Crucial to any story, of course, is identifying when you NEED to be creative, and when you can lay off and give your reader a rest from constant originality--too much to take it at once can damage the quality of your writing. There are only a certain number of ways which you can say "the sky is blue."

You're not going to be creative just because you want to be, or need to be. A lot of your creativity is fueled by your life OUTSIDE your writings. A good tip to keep in mind is that when setting goals for the day, don't base it on time. To say "I'm going to write for three hours today" is ridiculous. All my life, I've found that your creativity can maintain its fuel if you limit your writing to two thousand words a day. 2,500 max. If you attempt to go over this, you may find yourself lacking creativity the next day. (To my surprise, I found out that Stephen Kind follows this same rule.)

With millions and millions of books and films and plays and stories out there, sometimes originality seems like an outdated idea... like all the ideas have already been found and used. You cannot believe that, otherwise your mind WILL block your flow of creativity. A more positive attitude unlocks the door to your originality.

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