Hello, I just joined this forum because I'm an aspiring writer, and I'm hoping to learn some things to hone my craft. I've taught English as a second language at the university level for the past 7 years, so I'm pretty comfortable with the mechanics of writing English, especially academic writing; however, I'm pretty new at creative writing, so I have a lot to learn in that department. What I seem to struggle with the most is generating good ideas about which I can write. I know that this sounds like a broken record--everyone has this problem. But the problem is not that I can't think of ideas; the problem is that I can't generate ideas that are not derivative. In this era, with so many stories being produced in the form of everything from serialized TV shows to movies to even video games, it feels impossible to produce a plot or story idea that has not already been done or is not too derivative from something that has been done. Therefore, I find myself rejecting a lot of ideas because they feel too close to other things I've seen, read, or heard. How close is too close? How original is original? I think this is the hardest part of creative writing. Anyway, I hope I can improve this aspect of my writing through my interactions on this board.