Day 30

Writing is a skill. In here I send notes of my writing from the 50 days of writing course by David Perell, to reflect, develop and build my writing style.

Day 30
Photo by Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash

In the 30th email from 50 days of writing, David Perell talks about the 'Right Kind Of Original.'

In this email David talks about what does it mean to be original and tackles few important points.

  1. Plagiarism and Imitation
  2. Triviality
  3. How to avoid plagiarism

Plagiarism is copying and pasting somebody else's idea without attributing. Imitation is letting others know clearly to whom the idea belong but add clear personal touch(personal opinion).

David mention this quote by  Joseph Henrich from the book 'The Secret Of Success' -

Innovation in our species depends more on our sociality than on our intellect.” Evolution selected for people who could acquire, store, organize, and retransmit cultural information, which is why humans are such imitative creatures.

Academics are so scared of plagiarism that they commit another sin: Triviality, where their ideas are original but irrelevant, David says (really hit hard when I looked up what this word means and I had a flash of the past year.)  

To avoid Plagiarism, You can avoid it by following two rules:

  1. If you use an author’s ideas verbatim, give the original author credit
  2. When in doubt, acknowledge the source of your ideas.

My thoughts:

In the mail, David mentions how Yuval Noah Harari sold 12 million copies of Sapiens without any original research. Which then navigates into what is considered to be original and how do originality come to us.

Originality is having imitation game so good that people think its brand new.

(Do give my notes on plagiarism and imitation covering my thoughts in detail a read.)

Steal Like an Artist - Screenshot from Video building an Idea Factory.

This quote from the book Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon, which Ali Abdaal states on the episode with David Perell, that explains how originality is somewhere somehow imitated from other's work or nature's. We look for things to be inspired.

This kind imitation takes time to build and only way to build is to take better notes to process information. The note-taking system you build will be the starting point of the Imitation game. It helps in citing the reference and also appreciating the real work.

One point I would like to add what crediting the original Author, Writer gives is the art of appreciating and Gratitude. Imagine having original ideas are very rare and they put it out for us to consume and appreciating them will bring nothing but a positive feeling to them.

I would personally make sure to let every author I cite know how much their work has impacted me and shaped me.

Key takeaways:

  1. Imitation is not equal to Plagiarism.
  2. Avoiding Imitation/inspiration from other's work is committing to Triviality.
  3. Whenever, taking ideas verbatim, provide proper credit to the original author along with the source or citation.

Thank you  for reading.

For more of Perell's work, you can signup for the 50 Days of Writing Course by clicking and signing up to receive one mail every day with amazing take on writing.

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