Sometimes I hear writers say there aren't any original stories left to tell any more. Sometimes I say it myself. We lament, as we write, that what we're writing has already been said -- sometimes better, sometimes worse -- by many authors in many ways.
And not true. If we're worth the words we put on paper.
Yes, there are general storylines that will resemble others. Characters that resemble others. Situations that resemble others. Denouements that resemble others. We can't get away from that.
But we can still tell our story the way we tell it. And it can be ours. It can be unique. It can, ultimately, be worth telling.
Just look at Israel Kamakawiwo'ole.
He was brave enough to take on "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" -- Judy Garland's song. The Judy Garland. Judy Garland's song. Nobody else can sing that song. It's her song.
Except now there are two people who can sing it.
Israel made that song his own. He sings it in a unique way that clearly demonstrates a love for the original material but a flair for his own way of storytelling. It is just as much his song as it is Garland's, thanks to his ability to take it and make it his own.
We can do the same thing, folks, with our writing. It'll take more work, making our stories our own. But in the end, it's work well worth it.