[8] The dictate of novelty

The dictate of novelty for scientific projects is a damned creativity blocker.

When thinking about some new science problems, I am each time terribly anxious about the possibility that everything has been done already.

It has happened so often in the past: Working hard on a new project for weeks, producing nice results. And then you find a paper, hidden in some remote corner of the web, which is unbelievably similar ! Convergent evolution. At least one of the 6 billion rival humans had a similar idea before. Always.

Sure, there will be small differences between two independent approaches to the problem, but referees of high-rank journals will point to the similarities ! It is so frustrating when you don't feel free to think into any direction you want !

Imagine a jazz musician afraid to play a phrase because it might have been played before ! A cook who can't re-use the same recipe twice !

Any advice how to overcome that mind blocking state ?