Writer’s Journal Vol. 2.6


Four Reasons Why Real Writers Don’t Steal 

Recently there has been a plethora of news posts about individual’s stealing the works of other authors, tweaking them so as not to appear blatantly plagiarized and then turning around and republishing them as their own. As an emerging fellow author, I can only imagine what it must feel like to have something you’ve spent months, maybe years toiling over, stolen by someone who either has no talent or imagination to create their own stories, or is just too damn lazy to put in the work.

Either way stealing an authors work, whether it’s copyrighted or simply intellectual property, is the height of despicable and should be punished to the fullest intent of the law.

Which is the reason why the questions must be asked”

 Does emulating successful authors make emerging author’s thieves or simply individuals mimicking their betters while they themselves work through the evolution of developing their own talents?

As I mentioned in my post Panser or Planner, my idea for ‘The Remnant was inspired by reading Terry Brooks’ series, ‘The Word & Void’ – a fantasy about pre-faerie that begins somewhere in the mid-west and ends in Seattle.(It’s also his segue into yet another Shannara trilogy ‘Genesis of Shannara‘. )

Besides J. R R. Tolkien, Terry Brooks has been one of my greatest inspirations for reading/writing fantasy, having decided years ago after reading the first Shannara book ‘The Sword of Shannara’, if I was ever given the opportunity to pursue my passion for writing, he would be the author I’d most want to write like. 

So does the fact that I admired and wanted to write novels that were similar to his make me a thief, or simply someone who is wise enough to understand that if I want to realize my life long dream of becoming a successful author, it would behoove me to study everything I could about the craft, beginning with those authors I most admire?

I think the later – here’s why:

FIRST – emerging authors who mimic those they consider experts of the craft may copy their style and technique in the beginning, but the work they eventually produce will be original.

Those who steal and plagiarize from others have no interest in originality, only in profiting from those who do.

SECOND – honing our craft and evolving into our own authorship takes time, dedication and a lot of hard work.

Thieves are too lazy to do what it takes to become a good author, preferring instead to take advantage of those who are.

THIRD – nothing, not even the Big Bang, starts in a void. Which means every story, every article, every post an author, emerging or otherwise, produces, begins with a kernel of an idea, which is then coaxed and teased into something bigger, broader and deeper than itself. Which all takes time, patience and faith – in themselves and in the process of writing.

Thieves lack  one or all three of those attributes, finding it all but impossible to believe that the nuggets of imagination swirling around in their heads are actually worth pursuing.

FOURTH – emerging authors, even though they may emulate and mimic others, find a deep satisfaction in knowing that as they practice their skills, learning the techniques and nuances that set those they admire apart from the pack, they, like the caterpillar hidden within the chrysalis, will one day emerge an author whose voice is uniquely all their own.

Thieves, by their very choices, demonstrate an inability to understand the value of investment, in both themselves and the craft, having no real desire to become anything more than what they already are.

Every great artist, be they writer, painter, sculptor, musician or song writer, saw something in someone else that spoke to something in themselves, that in turn gave birth to a belief that if they studied the masters, worked hard and were willing to put in the time, they might one day emerge into someone capable of adding value to the world.

Whereas thieves and the criminally inclined, because of their sociopathic ideas of entitlement, have no intention of expending any more energy or effort than what is needed to take what isn’t theirs, having no desire to add value to anything other than their own pocket book.

In my not so humble opinion, I believe the real difference between an emerging author who mimics those they admire and one who steals it,  is really a matter of proposed intent – If our actions are for the sole purpose of developing and evolving into the best writers we can be, than we are simply students of the craft, gleaning what we can from those that have gone before us.

If on the other hand, what we’re doing has nothing to do with growing and learning, then  in all likelihood we are narcissistic sociopaths who have no interest in adding value to anything other than the size of our bank account. ©

Sharing the journey.


@All rights reserved.

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