Originality is Infinite
Writing is a deeply personal process.
With each word that gets secured in place, your thoughts, ideas, and perspectives become exposed to the world. While it is liberating, it also feels like part of yourself suddenly exists outside of your body, where it’s no longer protected from ridicule and judgement.
Every innovator knows those moments of intense focus and inspiration. Whether you’re writing, business planning, painting, sculpting — whatever your craft, when you’re creating, it’s as though somebody pulls your brain outside of your body, tips it like a teapot, pours its contents out, and it magically takes shape before you.
The process of creation is organic, and as long as you’re open to inspiration, everyone can create something beautiful.
I recently came across a social media post with very familiar words. I read them carefully and my stomach twisted in knots as I realized they were mine. Further exploring this person’s account, I discovered that several of the posts contained my original writing, which this person was claiming as their own to thousands of followers. It didn’t take long to find the true authors of all the posts, bringing to light that the entire account had been plagiarized.
The more light was shone on the issue, it was discovered that this person was not only plagiarizing other author’s writing, but they were crediting themselves for other’s photography, replicating original artwork and reselling it for profit, and even falsifying their athletic accomplishments, claiming the achievements of others as their own. There were dozens of victims.
It is a truly heart-wrenching feeling to have the work you poured your heart into be claimed by someone else. It feels like the most vulnerable part of your identity is being stolen and misrepresented.
Plagiarism is theft. While it may seem like just a caption, or like it’s no big deal to recreate other’s work, remember that there’s so much more than meets the eye. It’s flattering to have your work appreciated and shared by others, but before using another persons’s words, please ask permission and give credit where it is due. No matter how (un)talented you perceive yourself to be, I guarantee that if you put your mind to it, you too have something interesting and beautiful to say and to create.
There’s infinite originality to go around.
To all the writers, photographers, artists, and innovators out there, keep on creating with fervent originality. I appreciate you.