Teachers getting lost
When I’m teaching, I often tell my students not to worry about originality.
‘Originality,’ I tell ’em, ‘is a shibboleth. The only writer who we know for sure was original was Homer. After that, it all gets a bit fuzzy. So don’t sweat it.’
And mostly, I mean it. But I did think I’d had one reasonably original idea myself, which was to utilise the psycho-geographical derive as a tool for running a creative writing workshop.
As ever, illusions of originality fade into oblivion. In her fascinating collection of essays on what she calls schizo-cartography, m’chum Tina Richardson lays out exactly how teachers of the creative arts could use psycho-geographical techniques in their practise.
I know that I couldn’t better this. In fact, I know that next time I run my psycho-geography flavoured creative writing workshop, I’ll be nicking Tina’s ideas. Bum to me. But Hoorah for Tina; and any teachers of creativity looking for some great workshop ideas to nick.
But surely you aren’t nicking an idea if you genuinely didn’t know that someone else had already thought of it? You are no less clever just because you aren’t the first.
Cite, purloin, adapt and incorporate.