Blogging every day has been an eye-opening experience in more ways than one. One of the interesting insights has been that it is likely that someone else has had the very same idea that I had for a blog on any given day. This came home on the day that I did my blog on Jeopardy with Watson. There were many bloggers who found it hard to resist putting together Watson with elementary! I found them after I published, of course, and felt strangely disoriented.
As a professional writer I feel very strongly about plagiarism and cannot abide the idea of anyone stealing thoughts, words or phrases. Yet with all of us living in the moment and producing content by the second, it seem inevitable that we will overlap. It will be great to have a unique and unusual thought. But the reality is that given the common influences that shape our thinking, the zeitgeist, more than one person can have that unique thought. How do we handle this possibility?
This is how I have come to terms with this dilemma. Each of us offers our own take on a situation, event or occasion. There may be repetition but hopefully there will be something more than that. Over time a good writer or blogger will find the way to be part of the larger cultural environment and still build a body of work that reflects a specific view-point and philosophy. It is important for me to believe this because the alternative is to be paralyzed into never writing for fear of saying something that has already been said!