in the past year i have come up with (what i believe to be) a few decent catchy
choruses. but every time i develop any of them, they end up sounding like all the music i listen to, ripping off song developments (loud to quiet, building up to solos, licks etc...).
is there anyway I can write a genuinely original song? i know this is kind of an abstract question which would probably have a very abstract answer (if there is one), but any help would be appreciated
I say just do it anyways. You may only sound similar in your head and besides, lots of bands sound similar to others, like for example, Wolfmother to Led Zeppelin
There is no way to ever sound 100% original anymore. But don't let that discourage you from a potentially great song. You have to look at originality in percentages and ratios. When we all start writing, it's pretty evident who our influences are and there's maybe (and I'm being generous here) 5% originality to our 95% influences. So you're really gonna hear a part of "your" song and say, "Well that's just the chorus to such-and-such." Over the years though, and the more songs you write, you get closer to the fabled "100% Original". There are some easy ways to cheat your percentage higher, and if it helps get you on the right path do it. I've taken song lyrics. I'm not ashamed of that. We all take chord progressions. Maybe we change the key, but we know where we got the idea from. The point is, it is a cheat though, and you don't want to be over-reliant of them. Eventually, you'll write a song, and it gets harder to identify who you hear. When that happens you get a better base to build off of next song. I would say after 5 years of writing with over 200 songs, I've just reached 70%. There are still times I hear a song and "steal" it, but now I have a better ability to make it my own. I rewrote all the words, added more chords to the progression, added a breakdown, even a small solo section makes it that much more of your own. So do it man. You'll know one way or another if you stole it or sound like someonelse...lawsuit lol. But those rarely happen, because of exactly what i said.
All songs are 'rip-offs'. Everyone is ripping off the first monkey who came up with do re mi fa sol la ti do.

Look at the riff for deep purple smoke on the water, then T.N.T from ACDC, then I believe in a thing called love, all have the same 3 chords, but played differently. Playing it differently gives you a different verse, different chorus, song progression, lyrics, bass drums etc...

Just because you sound like something else doesn't mean you're ripping off, most music I make is based off a collective inspiration of the songs that had an effect on me. Everyone is inspired by some songs and want to play it to their tempo and create something new, ripping off would be taking the exact everything of that song without trying to make it better or different.

Think about it this way, out of every tune you've ever heard your brain registers the catchy 'good' ones that you like and plays it over and over in your head. When you grab a guitar or piano and you tell your brain GO MAN PLAY MUSIC DO IT DO IT your brains like YE OK CHILL, you start thinking 'What sound shall I make that I personally would enjoy and have others enjoy?' and your brain subconsciously is like EH THAT DEEP PURPLE TRACK WAS PRETTY SWEET REMEMBER? at the same time it's going MAN REMEMBER THAT PUNKY ANARCHY TUNE YOU WAS PLAYIN? THAT WAS COOL TOO. That's how Angus Young came up with T.N.T. riff trust me I know these things.

But yeah don't be afraid if your tunes sound like stuff that's been written before, that's how the world works you produce something and younger generations get inspired and make it better or their own (Hey Joe - Jimi Hendrix)
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