If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, stealing is a sign of great love? When you copied and pasted my article from The Mighty, I was confused at first. I read the title on your website, but, then I felt the most terrible feeling when it said by (not my name). My heart dropped to my toes. I felt a terrible sense of imbalance like my soul had been punched. I was shocked and angry. It is one thing to steal someone’s jewelry but another level to steal their words and call them your own. You have now had at least 120 shares on Facebook with your name attached to my hard work. I was always afraid to write publicly, afraid people would laugh at me when I put my soul out there. I never dreamed someone would steal it from me. It takes a special sort of sneakiness.
I suppose you tell yourself that it is a victimless crime. It doesn’t matter as long as the message is shared. I agree and disagree with you. I want the message to be shared. I want for people to be encouraged. What you did make me evaluate why I write. Do I do it so that I can be recognized? How has my anger shown me where my pride is? For this, I thank you. I realized that my reasons for writing were not always good. It reminded me to bring my writing first to God, pray to Him that I would write for His glory and not mine. Please also know though that I am trying to build a name for myself in the Fibromyalgia field, build credibility. You stole some of that from me. It is not something that can be quantified, although you may have gotten more fibromyalgia t-shirt sales from people reading my article, but an association of your name with good work will make people more likely to read other helpful things you have to say. You took some of that association from me. You took some possibility of further ministry away from me.
I needed to write this letter to you, really just a public follow-up to what I have already told you privately. I hope that you will give me credit for the article, but I highly doubt you will since you haven’t already. Maybe, just maybe, your experience with hearing about how your stealing affects others will make you at least think twice, prick your conscience a little bit, before you plagiarise again.
I am thankful that people were encouraged by my story, and I am glad that the ministry I started here on this blog continues whether or not you plagiarise my work. I was able to connect to the people who commented on the story you stole, even direct them to my blog for more help with Fibromyalgia. Thank you for giving me that platform, that opportunity. I just wish we could have done it as partners.
Great news! Since this letter was written, the plagiarizer has taken down the article from her website! Thank you blogging community for helping to bring about justice!