How often do you google yourself?

Some people shy away from that question, usually because they do not want others to think they have an ego; after all, the practice itself is called ego surfing, or even vanity searching, because of the assumption that you have to be vain to search for yourself online, but it’s actually really important, especially if you’re an author or an artist and have published copyrighted content.

Personally, I google myself on a weekly basis. I search for my name, my aliases, my published novels, my to-be published novels and even the fanfiction stories I wrote many years ago. I’m not ashamed to admit it. My work is important to me, and I want to make sure that nobody is abusing it or using it for their own personal gain at my personal expense. Plus, occasionally you may come across something nice that you hadn’t been aware of before… a little mention here, a little compliment there, a review you never noticed… it’s all pretty interesting.

Results may vary.

Results may vary.

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If imitation is the highest form of flattery, what is plagiarism?

I’ve heard someone say that once people start imitating you and copying your style, you know you’ve made it big. Same goes if you receive a high number of spam comments on your blog, but that’s a completely different matter. Yesterday’s WP prompt suggested writing a post in the style of another blogger, and I have to admit that I would feel flattered if someone were to do that to me. It would feel like some sort of homage.

However, at some point that homage stops being so and instead turns into something uglier and almost taboo in the world of writing. This was something I hadn’t even considered before. Okay, so I know papers and studies sometimes get plagiarized, that’s not unheard of in schools and universities, but I never thought it could happen between writers. Yet in one week I came across three bestselling authors who’ve apparently did a share of plagiarizing. One particular author began with fanfiction, and no, I’m not talking about E. L. James. Continue reading

All the good ones are taken!

Have you ever had an idea, dwelled too much upon it and got excited about starting it, only to find that someone already beat you it? It could be anything… a book idea, a paper or even a blog post. It feels like all the good ones are always taken, and you worry that if you try to recycle the idea and adapt it in your own way, you may get called out and criticized by your peers. Worse, you can be accused of plagiarism, and we definitely don’t want that. Once a plagiarist, always a plagiarist… or something like that?

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