Blogging And Being Original
Writing and later blogging has been an hobby of mine for decades now. Early in kindergarten, then primary school in Kingston, Jamaica, it was clear that mathematics, science and all those subjects requiring calculation and arithmetic skills were simply not my forte. Social studies and history were my first loves. After passing the Common Entrance Examinations, although for years I dreamed of following in my neighbours’ footsteps and pursue a career in medicine, it soon became abundantly clear that would not happen.
My studies would take me on fictional journeys as well as real trips to far off lands. Along the way, it was writing that I best excelled at – whether in my journals, essays given as homework, end of year papers or for my thesis (x3). Entering the professional world, the little mathematics that I managed to understand would hardly play a role in my careers, except to help me prepare budgets for campaigns.
In Your Weakness
One of the many things that I have learned in life is to know my strengths, as well as where help is needed. The latter was hard to accept and asking for help was seen by me for a long time as a weakness and an admission of failure. With time, I got over that and learned that in my perceived weakness, in my ability to recognise it and seek help – therein lies my greatest strength. That lesson was one that I transferred to my creation of two blogs over the past 10+ years.
Blogging has been one of my favourite pastimes. It gave me the opportunity to release my fears, be open and vulnerable in a vast and invisible world and practice my writing skills and publish original pieces. That is how it started. By my second blog, after long walks across very rocky emotional terrains, blogging became a channel for me to reach through to anyone who might be “suffering” some of the hurt-filled alleys that I had made my way across.
You Can Make A Living Being Original
This is my third blog, in a sense, one that has moved in leaps and bounds from my last on Blogger. With the help of a great team, my blogging adventure was moved to WordPress as I was ready to have a more professional presence on the web and across social media. However, my blogging remains original and true to the essence of its early beginnings and continues to be a space for:
- Openness and honesty
- Authenticity and encouragment of those who wish to be original
- Support and outreach
- Creative writing that inspires
Many blogging today have these goals and more but then there are as many others who are just in it for the money – which is fine as well.
Blogging is a way to work from home, supplement the family income and become a social media “influencer.” One reason why so many people get into blogging is how inexpensive it is to do. The only necessary expenses you have are buying your domain and your web hosting provider or VPS server, both of which you can find at reasonable prices all over the internet. I have absolutely nothing against any of these aspirations. In fact, blogging is all the things that I have said above and for me it is also a potential income generator, through my support services, a retirement activity that will supplement my pension and if while doing it, I happen to influence at least one other – then mission completed.
The Imitators, Copiers And Inauthentic
What irks me and is at the root of this today’s post is something that would annoy anyone in any field, whether it is blogging, banking, medicine or construction. That nuisance is: those who imitate or outright copy your work. Recently, a fellow blogger wrote a piece on this issue of those who copy others’ work without giving credit and I fully endorsed her statement. Even more recent, I implemented a “copy” prevention app to this blog that alerts me when someone copies any of our articles. I can check if they have credited us as the source and if not, take the necessary steps regarding my copyright.
We try to be very careful in our blogging, crediting sources and using photographs from free resources. Most of the pictures used on this blog, if not from my personal collection, are from free resources. Very few are from other sites and when we have to they are openly credited as the source.
There is a small and insidious group of people who, lacking in original thought but creative enough to pretend to be originators, steal your concepts and post to their blogs and websites as if it was their own. Now, I am not of the notion that two or ten thousand people cannot have the same idea. Hello??? That is not the point. As I said in response to a visitor’s comment, as the world evolves more and more people will have the same ideas, at the same time but each will bring to it their own perspective. Nothing wrong with that.
What is wrong is the moment when your concept, published and circulating and receiving attention becomes the “new” idea for another to start blogging, copying and presenting as their original thought. There is absolutely nothing you can do about it other than seethe as I did over the past couple of weeks when I began noticing concepts, story lines, issues that we have highlighted quickly becoming content for others. They have even “stolen” our headlines!
Why We Love Being Original
I read so many blogs every day and if I come across a story that interests me my response is to: (1) tell the author how great a piece I think it is (2) ask if I could link to or promote their content here (3) invite them to be a guest contributor here and share their story with our audience. That, however, is not the approach of others involved in blogging. Instead, they try to piggyback on others’ work, without due regard for copyright, crediting sources, or simply paying respect to the amount of time, effort and money, yes money as it takes your personal money to do blogging. You have to spend money on research, apps, hosting your site, marketing, etc.
Other practices of mine, in blogging and in fact in all areas of life are best expressed in these quotes:
- “I’d say my writing voice is original, and I don’t think you’ll find another quite like it. This makes me sad, because when all my clones arrive sometime in the future, their only hope is to try to copy me.?” ? Jarod Kintz,
- “Be different. Be original. Nobody will remember a specific flower in garden loaded with thousands of the same yellow flower, but they will remember the one that managed to change its color to purple. Being different and thinking differently make a person unforgettable. History does not remember the forgettable. It honors the unique minority the majority cannot forget.” ? Suzy Kassem,
See, my blogging comes from my wounds. While I have taken the advice of the experts and we use a monthly blog planner here to map out our stories a month or more in advance, I leave room for inspiration from my heart – my place of guidance. I never imitate other bloggers, coworkers or even bosses. My belief is in being the original and true version of me. When you copy or try to imitate others what you present is only a watered down version of the story, the life, the experiences and the journey that you neither understand or took.
My story – or at least some of it – was recently the conversation on a fellow blogger’s radio show. You can listen to it here and understand why I have no need to copy or imitate anyone. Life gave me enough material to work with.
Flattered But Be Yourselves
Yes, we are flattered to be copied. We are flattered to be leading the conversation on practical issues in the lives of women across the world. Extremely flattered we are indeed that some think that the work we do here is copy-worthy. It would be nice if you were to give credit to the source, originator of the concept or the ones who inspired you. But, if you do not that is okay too because what is important is that the work is being done, even if your imitation of it is a bit lacking in depth, direction and authenticity.
If you are someone who would like to live from your authentic self, without the hype; if you would like to walk with real-life teachers and not preachers then consider Subscribing and joining this community! You will receive my monthly original newsletter as well as affirmation poster. I will send you one daily update in your inbox and will never spam me. Money is not the motivating factor here – your life is. Helping you is what inspires us to write and post here – now Mondays – Fridays.
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Have a wonderful Throwback Thursday being an Original!