April 16, 2017

How I Redefined Creativity after being Accused of Plagiarism.


A few months ago, someone I greatly look up to as a writer accused me of copying their work.

My stomach dropped when I saw that message. I had a physical, sickening reaction.

Writing was my catharsis. I wrote because I felt I had to get these words out. I never wanted to be anything other than me, as I am. F*ck, I never even wanted to improve.

Although I felt sick, we talked through the issue and all was fine—except that for weeks, I couldn’t write.

I’m still getting over the hill of second guessing everything I put into the world. I think when we begin on our creative path, we often pull from the people who inspire us and make it our own, in the end finding our unique voice. But it still scares the sh*t out of me to be anything but me.

I recently attended a book signing for well-loved poet and all around mega-babe, Tyler Knott Gregson. He echoed my exact sentiment—he said he’s terrified of losing his authenticity by subconsciously emulating someone else’s work.

I felt a sigh of relief knowing that it’s not only me who feels this way. And I made a promise to myself to not engage in any new poetry for a while—a boycott of sorts to protect my own authentic creativity. I began to seek new art forms to serve as a creative outlet, including painting and photography. I gravitated toward visual expressions, something words can’t reach.

I shared this with my small, online community, and received dozens of messages from people I knew and people I didn’t. Everyone said something along the lines of this: Nothing is original, your heart is unique, and your writing is worth continuing.

Is creativity sacred?

Is anything really new anymore?

Creativity is a constant conversation with the world around us. As Elizabeth Gilbert said, “It might have been done before, but it hasn’t been done by you!”

If all we can do is converse with our inspiration, our influences, and our creativity, can we really claim any art as our own?

Is art more of a collective act, than an individual expression?

Whatever the answer—we need more artists.

We need more painters, more songwriters, more poets, more fashion designers.

We need more people doing what they love, filled with joy from bringing their expression into this world, and we need more people helping each other by allowing what they have to spill over their cup.

We need more passion, more positivity, more action, more love.

We need to come together through our creativity, give our left brains a rest, and feel into this life.

We don’t need more finger-pointers, complainers, or people who are too scared to let someone else’s light shine.

We need to encourage the artists around us.

Artists will save the world.


Author: Annabelle Blythe

Image: @elephantjournal/Instagram

Editor: Nicole Cameron

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