As a writer I try to be original. It is not always easy. For instance, I was writing a flash piece about fairies recently. And I was kicking around ways to make them fairy-like.
One of the characters, Mister Bally, I described as having the voice of a cricket. I thought that I was being clever. I was wrong.
Turns out that someone else described characters sounding like crickets--Homer. The onlyreason I discovered this is that I am currently reading (the) Illiad in my literature class. Homer is describing old men, and not fairies--nevertheless, it makes it look like I am drawing off of Homer for inspiration and not performing my own skull sweat inducing thinking.
I will admit that I like the extra layer of symbolism that it imposes on the story that I am writing. So I plan on keeping my description of the way that Mister Bally sounds.
But my ego is hurt by this discovery. Here I thought I was being original and I am not even close. Instead I was ripping off a book, I hadn't even read yet. Good thing, he has been dead for a few years; he might consider suing me otherwise.