Owning It

Yesterday I posted “The Great October Update” after reading a similar update post from an author who’s good opinion I value highly. Monica Byrne is an excellent storyteller, and she’s also got some amazing insights into Patreon as a platform.

Consequently, when I see her doing something, I follow it closely. I read what she writes and listen to what she says, because, as I said yesterday I see how important Patreon is for me as a writer.

But I made a big mistake yesterday. I adapted an update Monica wrote on her Patreon for my use. I didn’t bother to credit her for the ideas I expressed. Ideas that I mirrored.

So while I didn’t copy her word for word, I did take her ideas and pass them off as my own.

It wasn’t until she confronted me today that I realized that I’d plagiarized the essence of her post. And while I never had any malicious intent, that doesn’t excuse my behavior.

I’m posting this now for a couple of reasons.

First, I want to own up to my mistakes. We all make them, but just as I want to own triumphant moments I’ve got to own all my blunders if only so I can learn from them.

Second, it’s important to me that you like my writing and my ideas because they are mine. If anything, this negative encounter with Monica helped me come to this realization. If there is any good that I can take away, it’s that I’m able to empathize with the person I’ve wronged in this instance.

Finally, I’m writing this because I want to apologize. I feel remorse for what I unmindfully did, and I take responsibility for the post. Perhaps most importantly, I promise to think long and hard about what I post before I repeat this mistake. My hope is that by writing this, I’ll have made some amends.

I’ve since taken down the offending update post, and I’m currently beating myself up for messing up another relationship. Monica if you read this, and I don’t expect you will, I am sincerely sorry to have wronged you as I did. My intent was to emulate your success, not steal your words.

I realize that what I wrote wasn’t just inspired by Monica’s post. It followed her words too closely. However, I do wish that she had contacted me and asked me to take the post down or alter it substantially, rather than assuming deliberate malfeasance on my part.

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