The purpose of this weekly post is not to rant, rave or bash anyone. It is only to voice my opinion and concerns on current events in the writing community. I will in no way ever be nasty or hateful to people even though some of this stuff really is upsetting because it has an affect on everyone.
Recently, on my Facebook page I came across a post that linked back to an article about a popular author who was accused of plagiarism, something that is beat into our minds by teachers at a young age all through school. As we get older we start to develop a better understanding of these things and why they are unmoral. It seems to me that sometimes as we get older and have a better understanding about morals that we tend to loosen the moral chain a bit for personal gain.
There have been several accounts of accused plagiarism in the writing community in the past and that leads me to a questions; Are these authors truly plagiarizing? The answer, we will never know. It may seem like plagiarism and the authors mostly will deny the accusations but in all honesty we'll never know if an author actually plagiarized or not because it is impossible for us to get inside their head. We have to go on with the thought that they have to live with it.
Here is my concern about plagiarism. The world is not fair it never has been and it never will be because we have certain people making decisions for us all collectively and no two people are alike. But will these plagiarism accusations change the writing community. At some point people are going to say enough is enough and they will come up with some policy that will try to eliminate plagiarism. I am concerned that whatever policy is put into place will in the long run hurt the self publishers.
After reading the article on a particular best selling author and the accusations on plagiarism against them I scrolled through the comments. I wanted to know what other people thought. Boy was I sorry I did that. This author was self published as well as traditionally published with a publishing house. The first comment I read was about this being a problem among self published authors because there is no one to refuse publishing because of their plagiarism. And that is where this post stems from.
It's truly sad that people plagiarize and when they do it affects more then just them it affects their readers, the person they plagiarize from, editors that work with them, and other authors. But mostly it just affects them. Why take the risk on plagiarizing? So that you can sell a book? So that you can get past writer's block? It's just not worth it in the end. If you have writer's block there are writing communities and articles out their that can help you and give ideas on how to get past it. Find another writer that you can talk to about it. Just remember that you have to live with the decisions you make.
If you have any concerns on plagiarism I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. What is your opinion on plagiarism? And remember there is a fine line between unmoral and illegal when it comes to plagiarism and copyright infringement. Be safe and write your own words. If you are using a source for some research, cite the source.
How can I get over writer's block?
I like to read when I have writer's block. It gets me in the write fame of mind for writing. If you aren't coming up with anything still I would suggest putting the story down and coming back to it. Don't rush and remember that having your own original work out there is by far more satisfying then plagiarism.