Writing Insights #3: Rants & Paranoia

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My original plan for Writing Insights was not to start a rant and get paranoid, you really have to believe me when I say that. I wanted to something along the lines of character development, common tropes, writer’s block and editing and I will do that at some point in the series. However, I feel like I have to get this off my chest before being able to move on. I hope this doesn’t get too long!

The internet is a weird place, we all know it. We have never been more connected than right now, but at the same time I feel more removed from some humans than I have before. You can get access to almost anything and the whole thing is so vast, there is no way to really ever see everything that’s on the web (Not that I want to. There is weird and there is batshit crazy and I don’t need the latter). It has happened before that my posts have been copied, and I really mean copied and not reblogged, with only a very hidden hint that I was the creator of said posts. A couple days ago though, I witnessed something even more terrible happening to a fellow blogger.

Many of us know Cait from Paperfury, and if you don’t, you should really change that. She is a force to be reckoned with, super creative and generally someone I would consider a real blogging and writing inspiration. See, there’s nothing wrong with admiring another person and maybe even aspiring to be/write like them (even though I would always encourage you to find your own voice). However, what happened to her is that a random person stole her blog posts and instagram pictures and claimed them to be their own. In some ways I think this is worse than catfishing. They didn’t just pretend to be someone else in terms of looks, they stole her personality, her essence that made her unique. The matter is resolved now, seen as that person has deleted or set all accounts to private. But what concerns me is how easily someone could just do that again. How is there any way to really know if someone is doing something like this, other than finding out by coincidence?

So, it got me thinking. I don’t mind sharing my stories and writing with you. Heck, I even feel like I need to share it most of the time, but now there is also that little voice in my head saying that I should be careful, because I never know who might get silly ideas and take away what I have created. Even big time authors get allegations of having stolen or copied material. It’s difficult to tell where one person’s idea comes from and whether it was created at the same time with someone else or later on. As I said, I often get inspired by other people’s work, but I want the result to be my own and my creation alone. So, right now I am trying to figure out how to share my stories with you in a safer way. Maybe I will upload it to wattpad instead of the blog, where it is so much easier to just copy it. Would you still read it if I just provided a link for that?

Sorry about those ramblings, but it was something I had to get off my chest. It’s weird, because it didn’t even really happen to me, but I still felt like it could and that made me angry and sad. Did something like that ever happen to you? Do you have any ideas of how I could share Kasia and Dyson’s story better?

39 thoughts on “Writing Insights #3: Rants & Paranoia

  1. I’m glad you mentionned this topic! I have to say, getting one of my blog posts stolen, or my writing…well, I just want to cry thinking about it haha. If the internet can be awesome to share your thoughts and your own voice, it’s kind of hard not to get paranoid. It’s awful what happened to Cait, really, and no one deserves this kind of thing, not especially her.
    I didn’t really share a lot of my writing on my blog, – when I was writing, now I am just not anymore, this is just plain frustrating, but anyway -, and even if I really enjoyed reading your prologue the other day, I understand your paranoia about it all. You could post it on Wattpad if you’d feel better about it, it would be great to read it, no matter where it ends up. It will end up in a book anyway ahah 😀

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  2. That’s terrible 😦 I hate the idea of getting my posts stolen – even worse, my photographs. We put time and effort into these things and then people just think it’s okay to steal it, not cool.

    I’d definitely still read it if you posted a link from elsewhere. Better to be safe than sorry.

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  3. The Internet is both fantastic and scary. I am sad to hear Cait had her work stolen. She is a real source of inspiration and has brilliant posts and ideas. I guess some people can’t just take example from someone and they feel the need to copy and steal. This is despicable. I don’t write, but the thought of seeing my posts under someone else’s name makes me shiver.
    I hope you find a safer way to share your work ❤ I'm sorry I can't help with this 😦

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    • So far it seems like Wattpad is my best option. It would be easy to link back to and you can always give feedback there. It’s really safe, because it’s a site specifically for sharing your stories. I don’t want to be too scared to share with you guys 😀

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  4. Ooohh I totally saw this! Not only Cait’s, she also stole pictures from Aentee @ Read at Midnight and some other bookstagrammers! I get that she wanted to be like Cait, she’s so creative and everything. I personally has been inspired several times by her but stealing pictures and writings is just NO. And I totally get your point, even I’m scared of my photos being stolen by some irresponsible people. I think posting it on wattpad would still work well, it’s safer and I thought there are way to turn off block option on the blog (I didn’t know how but I encountered a few blogs where I couldn’t block the texts). That would be a nice way to protect your work if you figure out how to do it 😛 good luck on your writing! ❤

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    • Oh wow, I had no idea! I was at work that day and by the time I wanted to report her, everything was already taken down. I don’t like how easy she got off.
      Since everyone was pretty open to the idea of me using wattpad, I might just go and do that. Who knows, maybe I’ll get discovered on there hahaha

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  5. Wow- I didn’t know this happened to someone on here- how did that go down?? It sounds terrible :/ when it comes blogposts I don’t get why people feel the need to steal- if you’re inspired someone it really is no effort to say so!!
    I completely get why you’re paranoid- and unfortunately I feel the same way. When it comes to my writing I take paranoid to a whole new level (I won’t talk about my ideas, characters or post any content at all) so… I’m probably not the best person to advise on this!
    That said- I really liked your prologue the other day and would be interested to read more- so if you do post more on wattpad, let me know!

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  6. Something like this happened to me once. Someone copied and pasted one of my posts and tried to pass it off as one of theirs (though no one was fooled). I got upset, notified WordPress to take it down, got upset again when my roommate said I should be honored that someone liked my work so much (I had to go meditate to calm down, and then explain it to him in terms he’d understand), and finally got the post taken down. It was an experience that I look on with a sense of detached wonder these days.
    One thing you can do to protect any writing is not release any writing until the story is complete and you’ve gotten a formal copyright, so you’re legally protected. That’s usually what I do.

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    • That person’s blog wasn’t hosted on WordPress, so it was a little more difficult. She did take down the entire site though, as far as I understood.
      I know that not sharing anything would probably be the safest option, but I WANT to share. Wattpad is a really good option in my opinion. They have a very strict copyright policy and don’t tolerate infringements. And there are even people on there who have been discovered by publishers hahaha (not that that’s what I am aiming for at the moment).

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  7. What happened to Cait completely terrified and angered me so much, how can someone have the nerve to do this to someone?! It’s not just the stealing of someone’s work, it’s also the stealing of their time, effort and commitment and for what reason other than to satisfy personal selfish needs for themselves? I am so glad that she was discovered before the person had kept continuing and I really hope any person out there creating content themselves is really far from anything of this sort.

    There’s a huge difference between getting inspiration and downright copying someone but even with such a huge gap, it’s really hard to identify when it’s happening. I’m so glad that you are talking about this! It needs to be said and recognised for what it is.

    I would love to see your writing only with the assurance of knowing that it’s safe and free from copiers. I love this post so much for its highlighting and ranting and best of luck for your writing! I hope everything is going well! ❤

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    • I was infuriated as well when I heard about Cait’s dilemma. It was even more terrible to think how helpless one is in a situation like that, because, yes, you can report them. But who says they won’t just put up another account with a different name again? I truly pity those people, because it is despicable and sad what they are doing.
      On the other hand, I loved how the community came together to do everything to help Cait. I shudder at the thought that someone might steal my work. As you said, we are all putting a lot of effort and thought into what we put out there!
      The idea that I might publish future captures of my WIP via wattpad seemed to be well received, so I think that is what I am going to do. They have very strict copyright policies.

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  8. I had no idea this happened (the blogposts being stolen, I did find a person stealing Cait’s, Aentee’s and other people’s photos on Instagram and alerted them to it, but I don’t know if that was the same person) but I completely understand that you’re a bit wary now. I wish I could give you good advice but I barely share my writing myself because I’m so scared someone will steal it haha. I’m okay with small snippets that don’t give away too much of the plot, but actually sharing my plot ideas terrifies me. I hope you’ll come up with a solution ❤

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    • Sharing your writing is nerve racking either way and then having to worry about other people stealing it is just too much. I already responded with the link to my story on wattpad on another one of your (many and very appreciated) comments, I felt like it was the safest way I could keep sharing it.

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