This article is excerpted from one that originally appeared on Fast Company’s Co.Design. It’s taken from an interview with the author Austin Kleon, who wrote Steal Like an Artist. I had to steal his ideas, and then rewrite them to make them my own.
Nothing is really original
Every writer gets asked the question, “Where do you get your ideas?” The honest writer answers, “I steal them.” So, figure out what’s worth stealing, and move on to the next idea.
Admit to yourself that nothing is original. If you’re free from the burden of trying to be completely original, you can stop trying to make something out of nothing, and you can embrace influence instead of running from it.
People have been swapping ideas for thousands of years. Every new idea is just a mashup of previous ideas. You are a mashup of what you choose to let into your life. You are the sum of your influences.