Imitation is the best form of flattery, but I don’t feel very flattered.
Last week I discovered that someone had plagiarised a handful of my blog posts, taking the images and words and passing them off as their own. It’s the first time anything like this has happened to me as a blogger and made me take a step back and rethink about what I put out there.
I love blogging so much, over the past few months it’s become my happy place, a world in which I can be myself and share my voice. Someone stealing that voice feels like a violation and my happy place didn’t feel as happy a week ago. Luckily there are multiple channels and resources that are available and I was able to sort the situation out very quickly.
As it turns out the person responsible had done it a few times before and my posts on the copycat site were quickly removed and deleted. But the damage was already done.
Being a small blogger I felt like I didn’t have as much of a case, but I realise now that isn’t true. I put hours and hours into my blog every single day and regardless of how popular it is I still deserve respect for that effort. For someone to steal my words just shows a lack of care not only for me, but for what it means to be a blogger and for the dedicated readers who love discovering blogs and interacting with them.
Bloggers take inspiration from other bloggers, I know I certainly do. I read so many posts every day because it’s astonishing just how much other people have to say. Ideas float around the blogosphere openly and I feel that it’s okay to take inspiration so long as you put your own spin, twist and personality into it. And just as much as I’ve taken inspiration I think that I’ve also given it. I love reading other people’s perspectives and ideas but that is very different than copying.
There was a moment, albeit a short one, where I considered just packing it all in. Why was I doing so much and putting all this effort in for someone to just steal it? But you have to take the good with the bad and it would be a shame to let this experience ruin something so close to my heart.
From now on I will definitely be more vigilant and careful when posting, but hindsight has taught me that bad things will happen and it’s the way you handle them that makes the difference. This has been a blip in the road that tested my confidence and now that I’ve overcome it I feel unstoppable.
So watch this space.