Of course, nothing is complely original.
We all learn from each other from the time we are born, stealing ideas and sayings here and there and making them our own.
I think this is what Austin Kleon was talking about in Steal Like An Artist.
In fact, I think this is a necessary step in becoming an artist. See, you learn by looking at the greats. Then you find your feet by making everything you have learned your own.
James Altucher agrees here: New ideas come from old ones in a different context.
Kleptomnesia is such a good word!
Definitely write that one down.
Of course, nothing is completely original, in the sense that all of our ideas are influenced by what we learn from the world around us. We are constantly borrowing thoughts, whether intentionally or inadvertently. We’re all vulnerable to “kleptomnesia”—accidentally remembering the ideas of others as our own. By my definition, originality involves introducing and advancing an idea that’s relationship unusual within a particular domain, and that has the potential to improve it.
-Adam Grant, Originals