I just need to take a minute to vent. I found someone plagiarizing me. And it breaks my heart.
See, I went to post a picture today, a picture of my ‘desk,’ if you’d call it that (mostly just my kitchen table where I happened to put my planner, poetry book, and these cute little flowers the little girl I nanny picked for me this morning) in such a way that it became a perfect, effortless shot. And so I snapped it, and went to copy a caption from one of my old pieces about writing, which I thought was perfect. And boom. Yay.
But then I realized something…when I Google-searched a quote from one of my old pieces, it was copied, word-for-word, on a website. (which, by the way, was deleted within minutes of me messaging the author and saying to correctly credit me for the piece).
I try not to let these things bother me, but as a writer, they do. they do.
It’s so frustrating to know that I’m pouring my heart out, that I’m writing honestly and emotionally, that I’m being vulnerable and open and real, and that someone’s plagiarizing it, pretending that it’s their words, their confessions, their heart.
I don’t get it. How can you copy something and say it’s your own? Do you really think that it can’t be discovered? That the internet is so huge, no one will notice? That it’s not totally illegal?
That it doesn’t hurt me, betray me, steal a little piece of my heart?
It’s not just me, it’s writers everywhere. It’s my coworkers, my professors, my friends, my internet buddies, my Twitter idols, my favorite Instagram poets. It’s people I don’t know, who write so beautifully and don’t get credit for the art they create.
It breaks my heart.
And it sucks because there’s really nothing we, as creators, can do. Sure, we can take all the plagiarism steps, try to report copyright, and fight back. We can ask for pieces to be removed and we can fiercely protect our creations. But it doesn’t take back all the eyes that already saw our work, and attributed it to someone else.
It doesn’t take away the pain you get from knowing that something so important, so pressing, so essential to your being, has been stolen from you.
It sucks. There’s really no other way to put it.
Sure, this girl put her page on private so I can no longer report her, or not have access to her information to message her, in the sad case she creates another copied page. The only thing I can do is hope that my words find their way back to me. And that people discover me, and how much I love sharing how I feel with the world.
To my fellow creators, keep writing, drawing, painting, sculpting, sketching, creating. You cannot be silenced by someone trying to steal your talent. You are strong. You are gifted.
And no one will ever be you.