I had something all planned out for this space. It was to be called, “Life Lessons from Candy Crush” and it was to go like this:
Just because someone says you should do something doesn’t mean you should do it.
You may need a little help seeing the obvious.
Don’t worry about the bombs so much. They’ll often take care of themselves.
But if something is obviously ready to explode, take care of that shit.
Occasionally, despite your best efforts, things explode anyway.
Sometimes you’re dealt a crappy hand and there’s nothing you can do about it. Sucks to be you.
Slow down. Look at the whole picture.
Blowing shit up can be very satisfying.
Get rid of the negative things that keep creeping back into your life (I hate those stupid chocolates).
A problem may need to be revisited two or three times before it goes away completely.
A good reshuffle can do wonders.
At some point you will run out of lives.
You can ask for help from your friends, but after a while, even the most generous friend will get annoyed.
Clear all the jelly.
Oh man, I was so proud of myself. You should have seen my smug face. “This is genius,” I thought, advance-counting the glorious shares, retweets and recommends.
Then it occurred to me: I couldn’t possibly be the first person to think of this. Sure enough, there are 61,000 results for the exact phrase, “life lessons from candy crush.” A broader search for “candy crush lessons” (no quotes) revealed 22.4 million results.
I was not a genius to the tune of millions.
I was crushed (I didn’t mean to write a pun, but whatever, it’s out there now). I’d spent time on this idea. I updated a little notebook as I played the game. I refined and added and edited. And none of it mattered because it'd been done before. A lot. I’m just a unimaginative hack copying the 22 million people who’d gone before me.
I put this post away and began pondering other ideas.
But I eventually came back to it. Did I really have to toss this post just because it’s been done? Furthermore, is any thought or story or idea unworthy if it isn’t completely original? I’m pretty confident the inventor of Pepsi didn’t subscribe to that notion. Caleb didn’t say, “Welp, Coca-Cola exists, so I guess I’m out.” Caleb made his own cola, added more sugar, and ultimately lots of people pledged allegiance to his caramel-colored sludge in the fabled Cola Wars of the 1980s.
So sure, 22 million people had gone before me, but none of them had expressed exactly what I’d written:
“A good reshuffle can do wonders” = 0 results.
“But if something is obviously ready to explode, take care of that shit” = 0 results.
“Get rid of the negative things that keep creeping back into your life” = 0 results.
An argument could be made that “Life Lessons from Candy Crush” is a bad idea because it’s stupid, but not necessarily just because it’s unoriginal. To paraphrase Neil Gaiman, no one can tell your story like you can.
So go tell your unoriginal story in your way. It’s okay.
And seriously, those chocolates are the fucking worst.