Why We Love Being Original (And You Should Too)

Blogging And Being Original

“Imitation is the sincerest of flattery,” Charles Caleb Colton wrote, however, this morning as I perused the tons of flattery coming my way, impressed was not the word to describe me.

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.

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The world of blogging

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.” 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.

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The Imitators, Copiers And Inauthentic

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Respect the copyright or others

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, This Book is Not FOR SALE
  • “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, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem
memories
My mess is my message

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.

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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.

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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.

Follow me on Twitter and Like on Facebook to receive inspiration that is not published here. Please share this original blog with your friends across social media – we would greatly appreciate it. [tweetthis]Found this great and original blog that I think you will like! Check it out![/tweetthis]

Have a wonderful Throwback Thursday being an Original!

Namaste

Claudette P. Esterine
Claudette

 

 

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37 thoughts on “Why We Love Being Original (And You Should Too)

  1. Very nice article. Initially when I started blogging I was so confused. How to write post? Originality is helps to get readers

    1. Ms Claudette

      It indeed does. I am glad you found the article interesting. Thanks for the visit. 🙂

  2. This is so true. I try to be original and authentic as much as possible. And, sometimes I feel like it bites me because then I see what everyone else is doing, and it’s all the same. It makes me thing I should have been doing something else, lol. But, I’m much better at being original.

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are exactly right being you! I am glad that you are! Thanks for the visit! 🙂

  3. CourtneyLynne

    I feel My blog has helped me be original! Most people are the opposite and there blogs turn them into someone they are not, but I feel the more real I am, the better response I get to my post! Whenever I do something kinda scripted I think my readers can tell lol… I love this about my blog. I needed something to help me be who I really am and glad my readers did that for me 🙂

    1. Ms Claudette

      I am so glad for you! That must be an awesome feeling. We bring to this blog who we already are – originals. Thanks so much for sharing your perspective. 🙂

  4. I don’t like people doesn’t had their own originality, such a great reminder post. Thank you so much.

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are most welcome! Thank you for visiting again! 🙂

  5. Good suggestions and thoughts. Hard to see others copying what you do. You have to think they see value in it and can’t do it themselves.

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are so right! That is the consolation A friend of mine used to say it is better to be copied than ignored…guess she was right? LOL. 🙂

  6. I love reading blogs with personality (yours included!) and think originality really makes for a great blog. I definitely find myself gravitating to things that are different and unique 🙂

    1. Ms Claudette

      Why thank you! That is truly appreciated. I too prefer blogs with personality – and I definitely stay longer on them over the ones with posts that really run from trivial to pure commercial. Please have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  7. […] with you is at the core of what we present here. In yesterday’s post, the importance of being original was discussed. While I would love for you to visit with us every day, share our posts with your […]

  8. […] with you is at the core of what we present here. In yesterday’s post, the importance of being original was discussed. While I would love for you to visit with us every day, share our posts with your […]

  9. Eileen xo

    I am very new to all of this – I speak from my heart and I feel that my struggles with health have guided me. For those who do the wrong things – I feel sorry for them because they are not even trying to find themselves – just copying people who have = love reading your posts Claudette xo!

  10. These are great points. It must really hurt when someone copies content, especially if the content came from a very personal place.

    1. Ms Claudette

      That’s the issue. If it were say a sponsored post or product review or even an item that is in the news, fine. But as you said, when we are writing from our experiences, our lives or when we are writing in response to research or what our readers specifically ask you to do and someone visits and swipes – that is what is challenging. Do they not have their own thoughts, plans for developing their blogs? As another visitor said, it’s lazy blogging they are ding. Anyhow, I am over it. Moving on. Thanks for your comment.

  11. the struggle is real. i do my best to protect my work, esp my photos but all i can do is offer original work knowing that i am the source it came from

    1. Ms Claudette

      that’s all we can do. 🙂

  12. I always try to give credit where credit is due-especially with pics-since I do not have a camera and can not take pics myself–there are times when I can not find the source and would actually appreciate it if someone told me what it was!! My style is my own-and as for ideas–well–as you said sometimes 2 people can and do think of the same topic at the same time–but the styles are different.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Absolutely! But it is another matter for you to think of it and then two days later your post is adapted, copied and presented as their original thought when it is clear where they got “the idea,” from. It’s all good any how. The Peter Principle always eventually plays out. Thanks for your visit! 🙂

  13. This is something I think all bloggers struggle with at some point or another. Even when someone just features you stuff without talking to you about it first, It can be really frustrating!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Exactly! There is a blogger here who visits whose work I really, really love. What do I do? I ask her whether we can do a link, awaiting her permission to feature her. Being inspired is one thing but what is so hard in saying, “Recently, I heard on a colleague’s blog…????” Thanks for stopping by, again! 🙂

  14. It’s important to me to be original and true to myself x

    1. Ms Claudette

      Absolutely! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by Claire! 🙂

  15. danavento

    After 8 years of doing this, I have had it all happen. Bloggers stealing content(and of course I called them on it) taking images and I even had one take a screen SHOT of my affiliate account and post it on their site. We tracked it down and they were made to take it down. OF course you have the negative stuff that happens, but then you have friends. Such as you MS. CLAUDETTE who touches my soul every time r you write! It’s all about a big circle of friendship. Let the little S#$% FLY .. that’s what you always say:)

    1. Ms Claudette

      LOL! Dana, you are getting to know me too well that you can now even quote my !@#$ LOL! i am dying with laughter reading your comment! I wrote about it to let them know that they are not smart, that we see what is happening. What they are doing doesn’t scare us because we are originals – copies will always show themselves when held up to the Light. Eight years??? WOW, that is quite a long time! I look forward to celebrating 8 years of this particular blog! Thank you so much for visiting, again! 🙂 Much love and blessings! 🙂

  16. It is definitely an issue that goes around and around the blogging world! Good tips!

    1. Ms Claudette

      I can see that it is! Thank you for visiting! 🙂

  17. Elizabeth O.

    Although imitation is the sincerest form of flattery it’s not something you do just to compliment someone you admire or look up to. That’s just being unimaginative and completely insensitive. I think it’s important to be original when you decide to pursue writing, whether it’s for print, for blogging, or for something else.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I completely agree with you and I do hope you don’t mind my saying that it was on your blog that I saw a post about being plagiarized about a month or so ago. Thank you for visiting again. 🙂

  18. Thanks for the post! This is near and dear to any honest person’s heart <3

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you for reading! It is a story that was two weeks in the making but finally burst forth this morning as I saw our work being copied again. Namaste,

  19. Yes we need to be original, even in our pictures too. I had another blogger take my picture off of google for a product review and then she even used my picture for her Amazon review.

    1. Ms Claudette

      That is the type of s*** that pisses me off! I am finding it more and more – people stop thinking for themselves and just copying and stealing! 🙁

  20. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    People love originality! Always be yourself.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I truly believe that myself! Thanks Robin! 🙂

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