Usually the first thing I do when I log onto the faithwriter's site is submit an article or two. Then I venture over to the What's New section.
Often I am astonished to see numerous postings relating to the topic I have just written about.
God works in mysterious ways. Mayhaps He is pressing us all in some issue on the same day. I have heard other's refer to it as stealing. Some of you writer's say what I say so closely that it might cause reflection on my part, such as, did they post that before or after I posted mine?
It isn't stealing. Sometimes I will read a piece that causes me, personally, to think, 'You know, I was thinking on that issue. They said it so well, yet, I think there is more here to be said'. I am inspired to build upon it, put my own spin on it.
Isn't this the purpose of a site like this? Are we not building each other up, refining one another? If you are merely copying the work of another and slapping your name on it, then yes, you are STEALING! BE SURE YOUR SINS WILL FIND YOU OUT. But I don't think that is what is happening here at all. We are inspiring each other. This is a great thing.
If I have written anything at all on this site that inspires you in any way to produce an article of your own relating to the same topic, then I say have at it! Just make sure it is your article and not mine, worded a bit differently.
I think this is a great thing--a wonderful thing.
Being inspired by the words of another is never stealing. A writer's natural bent is to put things in their own words, and we often read the words of others and are struck by the need to find that paper and pencil, or keyboard, and get moving, get our voice heard on the issue.
Being fed, inspirationally, by the words of other writers, is a given for us. Inspiring others, in whatever way we can, is also our goal, is it not?
Very interesting thoughts Elizabeth, and I agree--articles on FaithWriters provide much fuel for thought and inspiration. I must admit I've never come across anyone saying they thought someone had stolen an idea from them though, just because it may have been a similar concept posted at FaithWriters at a similar time. If someone has said that to you, I hope it was said “tongue in cheek.”
To be honest, many articles and devotions in the What's New list are regularly very similar. Not surprising when you think that the authors are using the same resources for their inspiration (the Bible and the Holy Spirit). But when someone writes something that hits home with another heart, then that's a winner--regardless of whether the same thing has been said by numerous other people, in a variety of similar ways.
The "trick" as a writer is to keep the balance. Growing as a writer is always helped by reading a lot of other material and asking the question, "What does or doesn't work about this?" Then, when we balance what we learn from that with our own unique creativity and style, we will avoid our work blending in with the crowd.
I've noticed your articles before Elizabeth, and always find your honesty and straight-forward approach quite interesting. You don’t blend into the crowd.
With love, Deb (Editor, FaithWriters’ Magazine and Challenge Coordinator)