A girlfriend of mine once told me that my writing style reminds her of Carrie from Sex and the City. You remember… the statement opener followed by, “I couldn’t help but wonder”… and the question that neatly leads us in to the episode.
I wasn’t sure whether to take this as a compliment or feel guilty when I realised that she was right, have I stolen my writing style from my beloved Sex and the City 20 something years?
So I did… wonder… how much of anything is original these days. How many remakes are there on our screens at the moment of shows and movies we saw as kids (Footloose, 21 Jump Street, Karate Kid), music our parents listened to (it’s true Gen Y, Michael Jackson wrote Smooth Criminal, not Alien Ant Farm!) and books written in a series where each volume is just a rehash of the last (21 shades of monotony anybody)? Have all the good ideas in the world already been used up or is our generation so devoid of ideas and creativity that we need to borrow from the past to feed the future? Is it easier just to piggy back off someone else’s success, a little tweak here, a word or 2 changed there, a bar in a different cord here, and it’s an original composition all of our own?
I’ve always taken alot of pride in my writing, I’ve kept a journal since I was about 12 years old, written poetry, music, short stories, novels. I wonder now if I read back over all my old work how much of it is truly mine, and what I have been influenced to write along the way.
They say imitation is the truest form of flattery, so if my writing style has indeed been influenced by any of my peers and idols, I hope they can take some gratification from any success I may achieve.
And I guess I can always hope for a call from Candace Bushnell and the execs at CBS saying they’d like me as an assistant writer on the next season of The Carrie Diaries!