Book Mash Up—original ideas?

Did you ever read someone else’s words in a book, and think, aw, man. I wrote something almost like that in my manuscript last month?

I know there are no “new” ideas, and that we all have our own voice, and maybe when I read a writer, and see that they are saying the same things I’m saying. I should think wow, cool, I’m on the right track, instead of stopping and questioning my originality, my voice, my character’s uniqueness.

This morning I read this quote:

“It felt as if everything that had happened so far in my life had been leading me to this point, preparing me for this task, and that I was uniquely equipped to pursue this quest. It was a perfect collision of personality, past experience, purpose, and timing.”
Roz SavageStop Drifting, Start Rowing: One Woman’s Search for Happiness and Meaning Alone on the Pacific

It felt as if I was reading my own lines, from a recent work, but when I went into my documents, I couldn’t find an exact match, and began to think that maybe I had edited that out from a WIP and that’s why it stuck with me, or maybe I used the idea of that feeling for Jojo Boudreaux when writing a scene. I don’t know. I may never know.

When I spoke to Jonathan Santlofer  in Key West a few weeks ago, I straight up apologized for having a similar-ish character in my book.  I had not yet read The Death Artist, but the book jacket into was enough to make me feel squirrelly. He assured me there was problem, that you can’t copyright ideas, and he’d never consider something like that anything more than a compliment anyway.

I wonder if Megan Abbott feels the same way toward Ivy Pochoda.

Ivy Pochoda, Visitation Street vs. Megan Abbott, The End of Everything