A few days back, I enrolled in a writing class, and we were given a template for the introduction. Our tutor said we could use hers as a guideline, with a strong instruction not to copy the template verbatim. The assignment was to be submitted before the end of the day.

As I was running out of time, my first instinct was to copy it, change a few words, and submit. I followed my instinct, but during the proofreading process, I realized it wasn’t me talking. I literally could hear neither my active nor my passive voice. I wouldn’t introduce myself in that manner.

Remember that I was really behind time. I just wanted to submit and head on to the next task, but then, a friend’s voice changed everything; “be original, do not rush, do your thing,” he said. I heeded that counsel and chose to do the right thing – to be original. It may not sound like a pro, but it would be me talking.

So, I erased everything I’ve written and started fresh again. I was surprised, it came out really nice, and I felt the originality of my introduction.

This scenario reminded me of how the “cover song” originated. A cover version is a new performance or recording by someone other than the song’s original artist or music composer.

A cover version was originally described as being a rival version of a tune recorded to compete with the recently released (original) artist or composer of the song.

I probably don’t particularly appreciate promoting cover songs. I guess because I feel so much effort is put into remixing an artist’s song for publicity when you could sit down, think of your lyrics, and be original.

The same goes for plagiarism. People saw plagiarism as being smart or creative but thank God it’s a punishable offense.

The ability to think independently and creatively should always be encouraged, and that is originality. So, here are a few secrets to help you remain original.

  • Reason #1 Originality makes your business stand out – No matter how someone tries to copy you, yours will always be distinct.
  • Reason #2 Originality builds your identity and image into something influential – your originality keeps you ahead of your competition and makes you influential.
  • Reason #3 Originality brings fun and excitement: remember the adrenaline rush you feel in your body when you think of an idea no one has thought of, or you write an original content no one has written about, or a business idea your striving business can leverage on and grow, you become excited! That’s what originality does to you.
  • Reason #4 Originality breeds new ideas – If you get used to being innovative and imaginative, you would always think outside the box and have something new to offer. Originality helps to stretch your mind and train it to think beyond the norm and not waiting for someone or something to copy from.
  • Reason #5 Originality gives more respect – Everyone wants someone to look up to. As they realize you have your principles and you stick to originality, you are more respected. You become a role model for them.
  • Reason #6 Originality fosters a better relationship – Being original leads to a better relationship because you do not pretend to be someone else. You are honest about who you are and what your values are.
  • Reason #7 Originality brings security – Who wouldn’t feel secure around someone straightforward; someone who isn’t a copycat.
  • Reason #8 Originality creates trust – Trust can only be built when originality is being practiced. Trust is how well people work together, listen to each other, build an effective work relationship, and improve productivity in any organization.

And lastly, originality keeps your customers – You could attract traffic to your site or customers to your business, but what happens when they find out that you are a copycat? News flash; they would jump off the window.

So, I urge us all to be original. Do you have other reasons to be original? Could you share with us?