ORIGINALITY AND STYLE
Now we should consider the difficult question of how to be original. You’ve doubtless been told there is nothing that hasn’t been done already – or as Herman Melville, recalling Ecclesiastes, wrote in Moby Dick, ” Verily there is nothing new under the sun.” Fortunately, there’s an unpretentious but strong idea that runs counter to this bleak pronouncement. It was put most succinctly by a jazz musician who said, “The way to be new is to be yourself.” Georgia O’Keefe added, “….. the simple fact of yourself – there it is-just you-no excitement about it – a very simple fact – the only thing you have- keep it as clear as you can.” From a very different world we hear a similar refrain. In a Toltec codex, we read” ” The true artist….. maintains dialogue with his heart, meets things with his mind”
You’re probably asking, “What does that mean?” Think about what ideas, experiences, and passions have influenced you most profoundly. Do you find your eyes and your attention returning to certain things again and again? Perhaps there are some aspects of the world you are peculiarly sensitive to? The responses to these types of considerations may appear to be alternately of immense import and seemingly trivial. Somewhere among the answers lie the road markers for findng your own expression. You may very well not know for a long time which of these answers are the most significant;however, you can be certain they all point in the right direction.