I wrote nine songs last week. Today, I'm charting them, and I'm suddenly feeling insecure.
I noticed that some of my chord progressions sound oddly similar to the Sharon Jones records I've been listening to this month. And as much as I didn't intend to lift any of her ideas, I've apparently done so.
"Copycat," I hear an inner voice say.
It's funny, because I've noticed all week that people in my life have also stopped themselves in the middle of creating for fear that they're copying someone else. At my restaurant, our chef didn't want to make fritters because her mentor made them. At our bar, the mixologists had the same issue making original drinks. And at home, the kids have been mad at each other for who decided to dress up in costumes first.
It's bizarre. Why do we stop ourselves from creating the next good thing because we weren't the first?
Reader, everything is derivative. If you find yourself stymied in your creativity because you weren't the first, take heed: it happens to the best of us. As for me, I'm going to focus on being grateful for the all the talent that went before me, sparking my own desire to keep making things. (I'll likely spend this afternoon once again unconsciously stealing from others at the piano). And my kids are apparently off to continue their dress-up, regardless of who did it first.
I'll see you next Monday. -Em