Back in March of this year I wrote two posts about the difference between what is commonly known as Writer’s Block, and coined the term “Writer’s Blah”. Take a look if you like, they are post 1, and post 2.
Some time after posting these, a person dropped by, read the pieces, and asked if he could quote them on his own blog. Delighted, as always, I readily agreed, and eagerly watched for my posts to be re-published on the other blog. I waited quite a while.
Yesterday I found… not a quote, but a full article using my idea, but without reference to UhW. I was steamed at first, but here’s what finally came of my “distress”…
I could have complained, suggested a pingback (trackback), or demanded attribution, but I’ve decided against it. Rather I take some solace in the fact that the idea was good enough—in the eyes of a guy who runs a successful blog—to, …erm, steal.
One of the things that happens in our world is the contagion of ideas. If a notion is bandied about enough it becomes a meme, a kind of verbal virus, which finds its way into many places. Often the person who discovers the meme does so in such a way that, without meaning disrespect he or she takes the idea as their own.
I learned this many years ago when I realized that my Vietnam and Thailand stories, which I always told as first person personal, weren’t truly all mine, but that the line between a friend’s story and my own had, over the years blurred.
Today’s challenge is to watch for your influence on others, attributed or not. My bet is that if you’ve been writing, or blogging for any length of time, your influence on the world is by far greater than you know.