You know where every idea, quote, and image came from; none of them is fresh. You’re so familiar with what you’re saying that your words all sound utterly commonplace. Writers are like vacuum cleaners, sucking up all that we can see and hear and read and think and feel and articulate, and everything that everyone else within earshot can hear and see and think and feel. We’re mimics, we’re parrots—we’re writers.
—Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life