To the people stealing my words,
My initial reaction is “how dare you?!”
How f-ing inconsiderate and disrespectful of you to take my utterly honest and often very raw opinions and contentions and pass them off as your own; presumably to make yourself a dime or earn engagement from your audience.
This has happened to me twice now, that I know about, though it is entirely possible that more of my content has been stolen and I am unaware.
Two articles that I have written, one for Scary Mommy and one for EverydayFamily — both exclusives for those respective websites — have been swiped and placed on websites with no credit to the publisher or me, the author.
Honestly, my immediate feeling when seeing my words on someone else’s random site is rage and disgust, and while most of you probably understand and validate me feeling such a way, the truth is I shouldn’t be so angry about it.
When I write, I pour my heart out onto this keyboard, and that leaves me feeling pretty damn vulnerable. Whether my words spark debate, conversation, laughter, or inspire and support my readers, I want to be able to feel responsible for such.
Why is that so important to me? Because it encourages me to keep doing what I am doing. It confirms to me that I am making a difference with my content and that my stories are affecting people in some way.
There is not much I can do about my stolen words. In both cases, I alerted the larger media publications who host the pieces and let them take it from there, and that is where I have to leave it and let go of my hatred toward the word thieves.
With a little bit of time, a lot of contemplation, and by taking a step back I recognize what a compliment it is that someone, somewhere is finding my words important enough to share with an audience I may not reach otherwise.
Should I be credited for my thoughts, opinions, and all statements? Absolutely.
But, are my words still affecting other human beings? Absolutely.
Isn’t that my goal? Absolutely.
While I am not, in the least, excusing the behavior of these criminals, because that is what they are, I am deciding to forgive them for their behavior and not to harbor any resentment toward them.
To the people stealing my words, hear me on this:
I will not stop writing out of fear you will come around and take what is not yours, and I will not chase you down and bash your name to anyone that will listen.
What I will continue to do is keep writing content worth writing and keep typing with the goal of drafting something honest, supportive, inspiring, or humorous.
I will never stop doing what I enjoy just because you have decided to copy me and pass it off as something you enjoy.
Karma is a “b”, and while I don’t wish ill-will upon you, I do hope for you that you may find your own voice, at some point in the near future, so that you can stop using mine.
The writer whose words you stole