None of your ideas is ‘brand new,’ not really.
Think of what it would mean to have a thought that no one has had before, ever.
It is, mathematically speaking, impossible.
Phew. Once we notice this, we can be duped into letting ourselves off the hook. If it’s all been said before (we tell ourselves) then no one needs to hear from us. Time to sit back, relax, and passively consume.
The problem with this story is what it imagines an idea to be: a formless, weightless thing that exists, objectively, somewhere out there.
This isn’t what ideas are at all. They are living things that take on meaning through the way they are expressed: their content, emotion, and form (the words, the medium, the imagery) all breathe unique life into them.
When we consume your idea, we take in all its indivisible parts: the idea is shaped by each irrefutably personal element you put on it. Only you could express this idea in this way, because there’s only one you.
This means that your job is not to tell us something we’ve never heard before. Your job is to tell us what this thing means to you, right now, in a way that is textured, imperfect and personal.
This allows us to understand what it means to us, right now, and why we might let it into our minds and our hearts, so that it can change us.
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