Originality – the quality of being novel or unusual. Synonyms include inventiveness, ingenuity, creativeness, creativity…
See, starting your post with a dictionary definition may have been considered original some time ago, but now it’s just an overused introduction, even inefficient in terms of catching a reader’s attention. In general, the problem of standing out can be observed everywhere. In other words, as more and more people try to stand out, it becomes a harder task to actually “be original”.
Now, I’m going to sacrifice my mysteriousness and use my own life experience as an example. A few years back, the way I looked and my interests allowed me to differ from what I considered to be the majority. I wasn’t trying. I had a specific sense of fashion, listened to music that not many people liked, opened a tumblr blog and even began to learn the guitar while most people were still being sent to piano lessons. I know you’re doubting me. Stop it. I really wasn’t trying. Before you shower me with accusations of “hipster”, I genuinely wasn’t! In my early teens, I had no idea what the word even meant – I just liked what I liked, and took pride in the fact that it was specific to me. Believe me.
However, trends started to change, and I gradually began to notice that more and more people were sharing my taste in music, fashion, literature and even trying to learn the guitar, which I preferred to learn over other instruments simply because it was easier. Needless to say, I suddenly felt like a fake.
This leads me back to the main topic of this discussion – the unpleasant realization that being “different” isn’t really different anymore. People like originality, and they pay both attention and money to someone who can provide this for them. This is why creative past-times like blogging are actually more difficult than they seem. It’s almost as if every topic has already been covered, as people desperately struggled to make themselves stand out and provide fresh content for their readers’ delight. Replace the word “reader” with “audience” , “buyer” or “employer” and you’ll observe the same situation in the music, film, fashion and work spheres. The most efficient solution I see is to go back to simplicity, which has been so devastatingly underrated during these past few years.