Imitation and Flattery: The Myth


I’ve been stewing. 

The best way for an author to work things out is to write.  So here I am.  There are many categories of authors out there.  Today I’d like to talk about two of them.

There are authors that are in this for vanity; recognition, money, attention, etc. And there are authors that are in the game solely to write the story to the best of if their ability.

I write to exercise the ideas and worlds that exist in the galaxy of my mind.  It’s a literal Star Trek in there, folks.  Races undiscovered, worlds to explore, and plots that thicken and twist. So for me, writing is cathartic. 

I always strive to be as unique as I can be which means I don’t write fast, and I don’t pump books out as easily.  When I get an idea, it’s months, even years of research.  Kudos to authors that can produce books on the fly and have a great end result. 

But that’s not me.

So with all the painstaking love, blood, sweat and tears I put into everything it’s not only insulting but downright infuriating when I see other authors take brand new ideas and imitate it.  Now, before anyone’s thong gets into a twist, let’s be clear about something.

There are no original ideas.

But there are unique approaches to them.  There’s a “signature” every creative has which I call the soulprint. A soulprint is an imprint of YOU that leaves it’s mark on anything you create.

When someone comes along and “copies” that it’s as traumatic as identity theft.  Time and money goes into my marketing. Hours of brainstorm’ing go into my ideas, months and years go into concept development. To have someone walk up behind you and pick it up like a discarded gum wrapper is a traumatic experience.

It causes the creative to stop creating or to be so secretive, it’s like trying to eat from a tray in a prison cafeteria. We horde our ideas instead of being able to share and promote because we know Timmy and Kimmy will be watching and waiting for their next big “inspiration”.

I can’t stop them.  It’s not even worth the drama in trying because misery loves company and sheep will follow the herder.  But for the love of all things holy, please look inside you and meet who you are. Your own individual creative nature will emerge, but right now it’s suffocating under the mask you’ve pulled over your own face.

Be a fucking butterfly.

Imitation is not flattery, it’s theft.

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