Say it your way, say it again (redux)

A few weeks ago, I came across one of my favorite diagrams. Sarah Arnold-Hall created it. But I wouldn’t have come across it if Steph didn’t share it through this very viral tweet.

The image itself is original, but there’s an endless number of people who have written about showing up every day. Kishore Nallan writes about it here. Shawn Blanc here. I’ve almost certainly seen other posts on the topic, in those same words, before. 

Here’s the thing about saying something: When you say it your way, you don’t know who it’ll resonate with, but you’re breathing new life into the idea and perpetuating it. If someone hasn’t come across the idea before—and many probably haven’t!—then your work will feel original, novel, and surprising. Your work will feel creative.

That doesn’t mean you should rip off people’s work. Say it your way. When you say it your way and give attribution, you’re giving the original creator credit, promoting their work, and amplifying it. In a way, you’re remixing it, and it could turn out like Imanbek’s remix of SAINt JHN’s “Roses.”

Repeat yourself. Most people will probably not have heard you say it before anyway, so it’ll be the first time they hear you.

I’ve previously written about saying it your way, and responding instead of creating. See also Arvid Khal on cookbooks.

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