Friday, December 16, 2011

The ACTUAL Deja Vu Blogfest: Creation

Today I'm participating in the DL Hammons Deja Vu Blogfest, co-hosted by Creepy Query Girl, Nicole Decleroir, and Lydia Kang.

I accidentally posted this yesterday, realized my mistake after posting, deleted the post, but could not figure out how to delete it from Google Reader, so if this is a DOUBLE deja vu moment for you, all the better! (Did you like my positive spin on that one?)

I chose a blog post from almost exactly two years ago when my blog was getting an average of zero comments per post. Those were the days when I was still following mostly agent blogs, when I was blogging just for the fun of it, before I had tapped in to the wonders of the online writing community.

Visit >>DL's blog<< to find links to the other entries.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Your writing is your creation. Your characters' worlds might be based on reality, but they're places and names and surroundings you've made up in your head. The words you choose to describe these places are all ones you've chosen specifically. They have your brand on them, your own unique flavor.

So, why is it that an agent can look at a person's work and say, "Cliche ... There's too much of that around already ... I've heard that story so many times before, I can tell you right now what the ending will be."

Weird, huh? We think we're slicing off a part of our unique soul when we write. Then it turns out a thousand other people have thought the same thought and have written it all down already. And we were so sure it was original.

That's why I'm so amazed when I look at my children. Even other people's children. People in general.

Because we're all so unique. Nobody looks at a newborn baby and calls him or her a cliche: "Looks too much like the parents. I've seen this one so many times before, I'm bored of it."

No. We marvel, because each creation is so individual, so remarkable, filled with so much potential.

I'm glad that even though my genes may have been involved in making my children, I really didn't have any choice in how they turned out. I'm glad my children's creations were out of my hands, so I could enjoy the originality of their design and the uniqueness of their temperaments without imposing my cliched, cookie-cutter ideas, my boxed-in thinking, my limited insight, on them.

And I keep writing. To find myself. To find my unique voice and the story that's all mine, inspired by the originality of reality.
One of the little creations I had everything-and-nothing to do with "creating."

Your thoughts? 


  1. LOVE this! Great baby analogy--what a doll! ;p It's funny, I was just complaining to Dr. Quinn that one of my plot devices is so similar to one of hers... She wisely noted (as you did) that we all put our own unique spin on everything. Just keep writing!

    Just keep swimming~ :o) <3

  2. Great post and gorgeous baby. Next time I get a rejection letter I might send it back with a complaint that it's a cliché. Well I have read exactly the same thing over and over again! I liked the double take on the deja vu by the way.

  3. Rosalind, you made me laugh.

    Amy, you made me laugh as well. I can imagine a baby named Cliche just as a pet named Peeve.

    You hit the nail on the head: We are all unique ... that's because we are God's creation. So marvelous. Books and ideas and buildings and such don't really compare because they are human creative efforts (and we are full of cliches). But I recognize that we have that same desire as God to create, because we are made in His image.

    And now I must run to go get my two kids from school. Christmas vacation has begun! Have a good one.

  4. We are all so redundantly unique! I loved this post (and I was wondering why it would never come up for me yesterday).

    Thanks for taking part in the blogfest and helping to make today (and a little of yesterday) so special! :)

  5. Nice. I love the comparison to babies. Even identical twins aren't really identical people.

  6. I think we can fall into cliche in our earliest efforts because we don't entirely TRUST our uniqueness. It can feel really "out there," so we take a step back and as a result aren't as honest. This is all part of the learning process, I guess.

  7. Since I have no children, if I look at somebody else's baby, does that make me creepy?
    Recovering Toddler

  8. That's a wonderful analogy. All our thoughts and how we weave them together are truly unique.

  9. It's so hard to write something that's truly unique (to you, the writer) and find out it's been there, done that by many others.

    I try hard to find concepts that are unique. IT's not easy, and thought some say I write to please the audience, I feel better knowing it's not an overly done thing. That's just me.

    Thanks so much for joining the Blogfest!

  10. You know I love every one of your posts, and this is a great one. Nice choice for the Deja Vu fest! And I'm glad I can access it now! Hee.

  11. wonders of the online writing community ... isn't that the TRUTH?! It's a great place.

  12. Hi from the blogfest!
    Love the post, but have to say you had me cracking up when you wrote "when my blog was getting an average of zero comments per post."

  13. So true! Your baby is adorable, btw :)Cliches come from some kind of truth, one we can all access. They wouldn't be cliches otherwise! Nice to meet you, Amy!

  14. Ah, this is lovely. A great analogy to writing and newborns and how each is unique. Nice!

  15. LOL I remember those early blogging days too. Now I rarely visit an agents blog (unless I'm querying). Most of my time is giving back to the blogging community. And now I actually get comments. Yay!

    It is heart breaking when we think we've come up with something fresh, only to find out everyone else had the same idea. :(

  16. Thank goodness we are all unique. Imagine what a cliche everything would be THEN!

    Your daughter is adorable, by the way.

  17. This is such an encouragement! I agree it's a weird dynamic to have written something thinking it came only from you only to find out, others thought it too. (I've even read details in a book that were in my manuscript and had a DOH! moment)But I love the thought of how different and special our babies are and the likeness of our baby writings.

    And as for my post, yes, you were the model. ;) I'd love a chance to hold your delicious little one!

  18. Lovely post - I love the analogy, especially as like most authors I think of my books as my 'babies'. Yes, everything (they say) has been done before, but it's your own words that make it unique and differnet - just like each little child is different!

    By the way, thanks for your comment on my own blog - if you don't get a chance to go back, I replied saying how sad it is that commercial farms and ranches are driving out the mustang from his own territory, I hope you'll visit and support the Cloud Foundation when you get chance, the beautiful American mustang deserves better treatment than it's getting at the moment!

  19. Hi Amy,
    I'm visiting from DL's blogfest ;)
    Thank you for stopping by my blog and sharing your comment. You're so right when it comes to writing. We pour our souls on paper only to be told someone else had already written about it. I used to get upset, not anymore. I now take those comments and use them to "enhance" my creation.

  20. Hey Amy! I'm a new follower via the Deja Vu blogfest. I think your little creation is beautiful! As is your post. It's true, we are all unique, but the human experience is anything but. It's actually quite amazing how alike we all are. Agents calling it cliche diminishes that common experience when they should be reveling in it.

  21. Great post and a very original way to write the tropic "cliche" with baby analogy. I'm not a bit concerned for you to write an original story with your unique voice. An idea might be already done a thousand times, but if your writing is compelling and you follow your heart in a genre which is marketable, you are going to be the winner.

  22. Your baby is so cute!! I'm so inspired by your blogging progression. How wonderful to have gone from zero comments to dozens! I hope you have a very happy and healthy holiday season! And that 2012 will be stellar in your writing world!

  23. Great analogy.

    I remember going to a conference where an author said she's not worried about her ideas being stolen, because no one can use an idea like she can. All our stories are unique.

    Yes, we certainly brand out writing.

    Have a great week.

  24. Glad you brought this one back. Is that your youngest? So scrumptious. Really. And yes, if I've learned anything with kids, it's that you get what you get sometimes. There's only so much you can steer that boat.

  25. I like your comparison. I think our stories are unique, but they might still have too many similarities to what's out there. Babies probably do too. But to the owner (whether it be the writer or parent), our baby is perfect!

  26. A little late getting around to the blogfest, but enjoying every minute - especially this one!!! I so agree with you - the thought of *me* having to come up with a unique child, and the possiblity of getting it cliche instead - scary thought! It really is amazing how unique each person is.