I’m a firm believer that when it comes to songwriting, the originality in your songs comes from the fact that you wrote it in the first place, not from any external source.

To reinforce this belief, I found a video of a TEDx talk by author and artist Austin Kleon called “Steal Like An Artist” in which he talks about how art can be put into one of two categories…

  • Art that is worth stealing
  • Art that isn’t worth stealing

He also talks about his poetry writing technique called “newspaper blackout” which is blackening out unimportant words in old newspapers and how this seemingly original idea actually has a 250 year history attached to it.

He finishes off the video with some quotes by Pablo Picasso, TS Eliot, Steve Jobs and David Bowie which all extol the virtues of “… taking the things you’ve stolen and turning it into your own thing” rather than just copying ideas for copying sake.

Anyway, I reckon you’re going to either love or hate this video plus, pick up a fantastic songwriting idea generating technique as well.

Well, what do you think of this video? What do you think of the whole concept of “Nothing Is Original” in songwriting?

Comment below or contact me about it. I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time, keep on writing,

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting