Wow. Just wow. You would think I would learn by now, but no. I keep popping my head out of the sand, taking a look around, and ultimately wishing I hadn’t! Holy bat shit, Robin. The whole damn world has gone crazy.
I don’t even know where to start this time. My thoughts are all over the place. It seems some recently released book was, in large part, plagiarized. Not just from one best-seller, but two. Maybe even more. *blinks* Say whaaaa? http://dearauthor.com/book-reviews/the-plagiarizing-of-tammara-webbers-easy-by-jordin-williams/
The real kicker—this book was doing really well. It was seeing the kind of numbers I only see in my dreams.
I feel horrible for the authors who took the time to create their own stories, who poured their heart and soul into their characters, and busted their asses to get where they are—only to have someone else turn around and steal large portions of their work. It sickens me. It makes me want to turn insta-Seb on their behalf and bust out the SKALS team, helicopters and all.
I find this infuriating. You just don’t DO that. Ever. I’ve been sitting on a fighter story for three years now. It’s next in line after SKALS. I won’t even touch another book about fighters of any kind until mine is done because I don’t want to take the smallest chance that something I read might influence me, even subconsciously. Apparently, I’ve missed out on some really great stuff, too—but that’s the way it goes.
There’s research—there’s drawing inspiration—and then there’s just taking things too damn far.
I don’t care how callous you are. How could you possibly feel an ounce of pride in yourself or your work after ripping someone else off? How could that possibly make you feel like you’re good at what you do or that you accomplished something? I’m not talking about the smug feeling you get when you do something devious and get away with it. I’m talking about the pure, unadulterated, and exhilarating rush you feel when you finally finish a book.
It’s the same feeling you get when you’ve poured every ounce of effort and determination into something, given it all you had, and finally accomplished a goal. It’s like winning a gold medal at the Olympics. The feeling is indescribable.
I don’t know how anyone could feel anything but shame and guilt after putting something out there that isn’t theirs. Soulless or not, could you really feel proud watching a book that you plagiarized climb the ranks? After all, it’s not your story or your writing that they love. It’s somebody else’s. I would think, somewhere in the back of that person’s addled little brain, that notion would always be there. At least, I certainly hope so.
They jipped themselves. They betrayed their readers in a way that is beyond unforgivable. They wounded some of their own. As competitive as the market is, many writers look out for one another. We stick together. We bond and form families of sorts, friendships that will last a lifetime, because so few people truly understand us and what we go through.
This plagiarist climbed the rankings at a furious pace, breaking well into the top 300 on Amazon in a few days. They will never know if they could have climbed that mountain on their own. Maybe they could’ve been something spectacular. Maybe their ideas could have left people breathless. Their words could have inspired and made readers fall in love. Instead, their career is ruined before it ever had a chance to start. They will never know what they could have accomplished on their own or what that feels like.
That side of it is sad. The side where somebody crawled down into the ninth circle of hell and sold their soul without even giving their self a fair shot. Maybe it’s easier to say because I’m not in that position, but I think I would rather write a hundred books and there not be a single person on the face of the planet who’s ever read my work than stoop to that level. After all, at the end of the day, I write for me—because I have to—because it’s what I love to do. Because if I didn’t, I would simply cease to breathe.
Life is hard. There’s no denying that. We all have goals we set for ourselves. We all have things we want to accomplish, and most of us will keep going and do whatever we have to do to get there. It’s called ambition and drive. There is no shame in feeding that hunger, as long as steps you are taking are your own.
We are all unique. We all have something to offer this world. We all have worth. It’s our job to let it shine. Don’t ever sell yourself short. I keep saying this, but every time I turn around, someone makes me feel the need to say it again:
Be bold. Be brave. Be fearless. Be YOU.
No matter what happens, that is something you can still be proud of in the end.
*end rant* GAH!
~Best wishes and much love~