Wednesday, May 11, 2011

a breaking point

(Picture from we heart it.)

There are some events that have happened throughout the past years that I only feel my fellow writers will understand.

Maybe I'm being too sensitive, too irritated, too any and everything.
But I'd love to hear your thoughts.

First of all, has anyone ever had their words taken? I know it's so easy to be inspired by other people and we're encouraged to read and analyze to learn more...but there has to be a point where it's not okay, right?

A couple of years ago, a fellow classmate confessed that he stole one of my poems to write his own. I didn't know how to react so I just kept my distance (and poetry) away from him. There were a couple of other similar instances that occurred with people outside of school. No hard feelings; everyone makes mistakes.

Now, I see versions of my blog thoughts and recent essay in another person's words.

I just keep hoping it isn't a conscious thing. I don't think people are "bad" or have "bad intentions"; while this view has caused a lot of my friends and family to call me too trusting, it's what I believe.

And now, I hesitate over and over before putting anything "out there." What if that appears in another place, yet again? So, I dim my words down.

No, I'm not famous. Or in any sort of demand. But I've been working on this craft for years, am still trying to establish my voice... and for it to just be grasped away by someone else, in tiny or large pieces, hurts.

I'm sorry for being a downer. I try to be positive with my posts but this has been chipping away at me for a while...

Has anything like this ever happened to you? Where do you think the line is drawn?


  1. If someone steals my stuff, he's desperate! I'm sorry. Have you asked your friend about the similarities?

  2. I feel the same way!! Someone must be quite desperate to steal whatever random musings I put on my blog. I haven't asked and am trying to figure out a way to do it without being offensive.

  3. I had someone steal my work in the past once. It's a terrible feeling.

    I hope you work things out with your friend.

  4. I am sorry this is happening to you. I have had it happen to me and have known people it has happened to. It is difficult to prove something if they care careful in how they do it. I hope you work things out.

  5. yip, been plagiarized. and how did i feel? invaded. angry. and quite helpless from having it happen again. after all, you can copy write, but you can't check every word, everywhere... that's unfortunately the nature of the internet. makes it pretty damn easy for those 'thieves' out there...

  6. I'm sorry that happened to you.

    Yes, people have borrowed from me. I wouldn't go as far as to say stolen. I've had a critiquer use a style of mine very recently in her own new manuscript without acknowledging the "borrow". But the story is her own, so I can only get so upset. I've had my blog posts inspire others, but I'm sure others have inspired mine. My first manuscript was way too inspired by Harry Potter. The more comfortable we get in our own writing skin, the less we need to do it, I think.

  7. I'm sorry this has happened to you. Like others have said, this kind of "borrowing" stems from desperation more than a direct intent to hurt you. In the end, genuine unique ideas will always be stronger than a copy.

  8. Unfortunately I think that in the blogosphere there really are no "rules" on what you "own". I've heard tale of people who have had entire blog entries taken and published in online magazines and the like. That of course doesn't make it right...but when you're putting your personal thoughts out there in a very public sphere, it's hard to continue claiming ownership of them.

    That said...I think it's really really crappy that someone you consider a friend would do this, and not even give you credit for words that he or she knows are yours or partly yours :(

  9. I feel bad for you, especially when its a friend who does the stealing. It happened with me in college, and I was really cheesed off. Just ask the person about 'the borrowing of your words.'

  10. Hi Saumya,

    I am sorry you had to deal with this. I am like to share a quick story with you. It might help or it might not, but here it is. I started blogging because it was an escape from graduate school. I don't plan on making this a career or becoming "famous." Recently, I came across a few back-to-back posts regarding the same theme on a friend's blog. The person also started changing the appearance of their blog to match mine. I didn't exactly address it, but I did leave a sarcastic comment on their post. I am not sure if he or she got it, but the last few posts have been a little different.I hope you can work it out with your friend.

  11. Thanks, everyone. Your words mean a lot to me. I'm going to try and talk to this friend and see what happens.

  12. i'm sorry this happened to you. it hasn't happened to me before, but i can imagine how frustrating it must be. i really don't know who would copy blog posts, really. that's perplexing.

  13. It happened to me too Saumya...most of the comments on my previous post disappeared. My comment on your post too has disappeared. I feel bad for you, especially as the person borrowing your words pretends to be your friend. Just let that person know that you are upset and you don't like it.