Story ideas and the paralysis of comparison

I had a story idea earlier this week. I think it’s a pretty good one. I started writing it yesterday, and got a fair amount put down on paper.

Then I started thinking about it, and almost threw it away. “Why, this is just Animal Farm, but not as good,” I told myself.  “I should probably just rip it up rather than embarrass myself.”

I was wrong.  For one thing, it’s not just like animal farm.  My story goes places that one did not, and Orwell dealt with ideas that I have no interest in.  In fact, it’s only like Animal Farm in one way.  But it drew my attention to a habit I have to keep out of.

I can’t scrap good ideas just because they may have been examined by another author, unless that author has said all there is to say about the subject.  Guess how many that is?  About 0.  I also can’t be afraid to be redundant.  If there is nothing new under the sun, then it’s okay to repeat, I guess.  Even if I have nothing completely new to add to the conversation, I can at least let my own ideas be heard, and the total will change a bit.

At first I was afraid I had nothing to say.  Now I’m worried that what I have to say isn’t worth saying.  Heh.  What’s next?  Language paralysis?

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