Write from the heart. Write from your soul, write from your mind, write from the very core of what makes you- you. How can you plagiarize if you do that? How could you possibly take something from someone else and compare it with something that defines your very essence?
Well, long story short, you bloody well can’t. Everyone’s essence is different, despite surface similarities. What you do, who you meet, who you are- your writing will reflect all of this if it’s yours. Even if you take another person’s work and just copy/paste it- IT’S YOURS. The difference is that in the reflection, you show yourself to be lazy. As a reflection that’s not bad or good- at least not from my perspective. You might get in trouble with the police or law, but that’s their prerogative.
Stealing my work changes the portion of my work from mine to yours- but the reflection is different. Whereas I worked and poured sweat into the creation that you now feast your eyes on, the portion of stolen work may shine in a different light when viewed alongside someone elses’ name. You do no one but yourself harm when you decide to steal- the original author knows that it’s their work, and, if they’re like me, they’ll feel that it doesn’t matter.
The work itself doesn’t know exactly what it is, who it belongs to. And to me, someone who draws from a calm center, from an unknown place, from the heart, to recognize that no work is truly my own is something fundamental to writing it in the first place.
Where do I draw inspiration? Can a work really be mine if it contains so much of another person’s heart and soul? Ah, but who works it? Who creates, who finishes the product of that mind and that heart? Is it me? Yes.
Is it, then, that my work is a product of the hearts, souls, and minds of those I meet, of the essences of everyone, forged and brought to fiery life in myself, in my own– in part, a work of magic. A work of magecraft that no story character can match alone.
I make my stories, and they are pieces of me, but they are not truly mine. Credit for them goes to everyone I meet, to the unknown people I dream of, to the people I talk to and listen to and hope one day to be. My work is a collaboration on a grand scale, and I think in part, to be a writer is to be a weaver. To be a writer is to be one who forges tales and fashions fantasy from fact, then ties the two together to create something more. But the credit is not our own.
Who are we without material, without inspiration? We are nothing but ourselves.
I suppose in a roundabout way, this is a thank you. I love my readers. I really do. I love that I can pop on here everyday and see that people have been reading– if not necessarily appreciating– my work. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that someone reads that which I craft. As much as I enjoy writing it, I enjoy having it read even more, terrifying as it is.
So thank you, everyone. If you write, write from your heart.
If you read, find yourself in part.
We are the whole of everyone we see, hear, touch, feel and meet. The characters we write are an expression of that.
Expression is life.