Tuesday, June 12, 2012


It's not that often I'm encouraged to steal...

Day 6. Steal. 

Find a quote or a painting or some form of inspiration — and steal it. Make it your own. Attribute it — give credit where it’s due — but don’t be afraid to use it. Let someone else’s work springboard you into your own.

Give up on your pursuit of originality and genius and just find something that inspires you. Borrow from your friends and heroes and mash it all up into something that looks, feels, and sounds like you.

Who knows? You may find a style all of your own. You may even find — as Bono did — that a whole group of people end up copying you… as you copy someone else.

The irony is thick, ain’t it? Crazy, but it works. This is all art is — piecing together enough random pieces that you eventually have something original.

Professionals are comfortable with this; they embrace it, while amateurs waste their time trying to being creative.

Amen and Amen. I am all about embracing this. Why reinvent the wheel? If that applies to everything else, why not a book? Seriously. Let's keep it real. How many footnotes and endnotes and citing is done for a simple research paper (APA is still engrained in the dome).

What's funny is that I was pondering this concept recently as I tackle my initial chapters (and shoot to knock out a book proposal and one-sheet). I don't know about all of yous but I know I'm so not smart or creative enough to pull this book off all by myself. And I'm not too proud to admit it. Am I smart? Yes. Creative. Kind of. But I'm far from genius. Just a chick trying to do the best I can with what God's given me. And if I take the time to look outside my little bubble, I see He's given me a lot. He's provided many people and resources (and most importantly, His Holy Spirit). Sometimes we I tend to put so much pressure on ourselves myself and think I need to come up with some grandiose nugget of originality. Forget originality. It's overrated. I mean, if it takes a village to raise a child then who am I to think I can write an actual book all by myself. It takes a whole lot of influence to crank out a book. A whole lot. I see it already and I've barely scratched the surface.

I've been considering throwing a few questions out in the near future to help me as I work on my book to get some feedback. I'll start with one today to keep in step with the challenge...

What is a label that has been put on you in your lifetime (whether it's one someone slapped on you or something you put onto yourself), that you know is contradictory to how God sees you but you've struggled to "peel off" on your own?


I am a writer.

... that steals.



Betty said...

Jennifer, it's been a while since I visited you...so glad I did today. Love this post. We are all such a mixture of so much that flows through our minds. It does all mash together at times and we add maybe one more ingredient, called our own experience and out it comes. My hope and I know yours is that it taste good and others will come back for another drink. Your extra ingredient mashed together with everyone else did good my young wise hearted sister. Blessings.

Diana Denis said...

Hey Jenn, way to steal! lol I tried, i really did, yet I came up empty. It was one of only two challenges that I had to skip so I had to stop by and check out your spin on stealing. Nicely done!