Copying the Greats Isn’t a Cop-out

by bxrtley

A common theme this morning between Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit and John Barry and Rebecca Van Noord’s Connect the Testaments emerged: Copying. Not plagiarism, but the act of taking one’s work for personal use to build your “chops”. We usually see holy writings as something to be revered and recited for the sake of knowing and hopeful transformation. But what if you physically transcribed cries, laments and celebrations in the Psalms while going through your trials—word for word? Raymond Chandler did with Hemingway’s work. Twyla says this muscle memory won’t only sharpen your skills, but eventually spawn originality.

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