Thursday, May 19, 2022

Thursday Thoughts...

"Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all." 

Abraham Lincoln

As ever, I replace a man with a person.

These words are so true about books (and also about art I think).  With books I think there are very few new angles, very few completely new ideas, very few utterly original explorations or understandings. Except perhaps for published PhD theses.

Original thoughts are often built on existing thoughts. They take some of the previous thoughts and add to them, or look at them from a different perspective. As people study novels and narrative, they have clearly defined thing like the narrative arc, the seven main archetypes of stories and the like.

To be kind to ourselves, I think we often come to an idea which we think is all ours, from a place of not knowing. Not realising that folk have considered this sort of thing before; have studied it, written on it and so on. We have simply been unaware, and now we are aware.

I used to think some senior managers were really really smart, until I became one and realised that they were simply in meetings and in places where these things got talked about so that's how they knew.

Not only can books remind us that our brilliant thoughts aren't necessarily original; they can also expose us to new thoughts we hadn't even thought about!


  1. I love your thought-provoking quotes ...

    it occurs to me that we are, each of us, totally unique ... having come to any given point in our lives and our thoughts by way of an idiosyncratic journey ...

    and so, while our thoughts may not be "original" there is still much to be said for celebrating the good ones when they (eventually) come to us

    1. As ever Liz, there are so many ways of going into, and coming out of a quote like this! I think we probably do all produce 'original' work, because as you say no body else is you, nobody else has ended up in the same place on the exact same path. It makes me wonder if our work can be unique, without being original? I do not know the answer, but I think folk who claim they are original may at times not realise how they have been influenced by others and have stored things deep in their sub conscious; or may just be unaware that somebody else has already done it. I think about my work as probably unique, altho not necessarily entirely original...but I shall keep thinking! Go well.


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.