I don’t know about other writers, but I often struggle with the urge to ‘copy’ someone else’s brilliant idea. I am so frequently inspired by others who come up with clever names for blogs, interesting topics, new approaches and I think, why didn’t I do that? Why can’t I do that? I know in my head that it’s all subjective, and what one person finds brilliant, another finds dull… but when I stumble upon a particularly clever or interesting idea I desperately want to ‘steal’ it! It’s not that I’m jealous or can’t come up with my own ideas, I am just so awestruck at the brilliance of some thoughts that replicating it somehow pays homage to it, and reinforces my opinion.
This feeling of stumbling upon greatness is pretty similar to that spark of inspiration that seems to strike at the most inconvenient times.
I think there really isn’t that much difference between feeling inspired generally and feeling inspired to replicate. The way I write is so unconscious, it just floods out, so I find being objective about my writing really hard anyway, which means that what I perceive as brilliant might not actually be as good as my own writing, it’s just that I can be objective about it.
So how do you use others’ success as inspiration? This is a hard question to answer. I think rather than copying what someone does, it’s better to look at their overall journey, learn how they arrived at that final creation and be inspired by that process, rather than the outcome.