Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Advice, please?

*
Have you ever


had a friend


openly copy something you feel is part of your personal expression/work/art?


How did you handle that?

I'm not trying to be negative here, but positive advice would be appreciated.
*

29 comments:

Tamika: said...

That has never happened to me Tess. Wow. I'm sorry you've encountered such a situation!

I believe you should have a talk with your friend. Be honest about your concerns. Speaking the truth in love is never wrong.

Christine Danek said...

Have you confronted them? I have never had this happened and I'm sorry this has happened to you. Maybe approach this friend gently and see where it goes.

Tina Laurel Lee said...

Is it possible that she doesn't know that she is copying? I have had that happen. Someone thinking it is their own because it becomes part of their memory.

I would probably wonder what they don't know or understand. Like if it is possible he/she doesn't understand that it could be offensive or damaging? I err to assuming it's a misunderstanding and would maybe try to ask her/him about it that way.

Sorry, Tess. It sounds very hard. My heart goes out to you.

Kristi Faith said...

wow, that is hard. I have never run across this problem! I agree with Tamika that you should ask and talk with love and compassion-try not to assume the worst. However....definitely address the issue.

Linda Kage said...

I guess there's only two ways to take this; positively or negatively.

Negative: Gasp. How dare they steal MY originality.

Positive: Gasp. I'm so honored this person finds me interesting and original enough to want to be just like me. Wow, I have a mini-me!

But seriously, I have no idea how to handle such a situation. Sorry. Hope it works out for you.

storyqueen said...

This is the hardest question I've seen on a blog in a long time...and I have no answer.

Sorry you have to deal with something like this.

Shelley

Tess said...

thanks, friends. I really don't mean to imply that this is a big deal. It's not. It's a little, tiny thing, but I was just feeling lost and unsure of my direction. You have been helpful.

Megalicious said...

I've never experienced this, but I would definitely confront him or her about it. They say immitation is the sincerest form of flattery (or something like that!), maybe this person was doing it in a positive way to promote your message. But either way you deserve an explanation as to why they did it and didn't ask you first.

Hilary Wagner ~ Writer said...

Tess,

It might be helpful to put yourself in that person's shoes, and figure out from their perspective how they could justify doing what they did. Maybe they didn't think it was a big deal or that you would mind, etc. Being diplomatic is always the best...more flies with honey and all!

I hope it does not ruin your friendship!

xoxo -- Hilary

Paige said...

Hopefully this was not done knowingly, and it won't turn into a big thing.

You're awesome, though, so I can see why people would want to take your ideas.

Lady Glamis said...

Sadly, I've had this happen several times throughout my life. I've handled each instance differently. The best thing to do is communicate.

Paul Greci said...

I can't remember ever having this happen to me. I'd start with some communication. I really liked what Tina said above.

Heather Kelly said...

I second all the thoughts here. What a bummer. This has not happened to me--but I don't really put my stuff out there all that often. I wish you the best of luck in a good resolution for this horrible situation.

Carolyn V. said...

Yes! I even had someone tell me she borrowed my words. How do you borrow words? I've learned to shrug it off. Besides our books are so different, would people be able to pick it out? I hope not.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Um, yeah, I have. It's an awkward situation, for sure. It's hard to advise you since I don't know the level of the friendship or degree of "borrowing." But if it has bothered you enough that you've blogged about it, you might want to have a gentle conversation.

Mary Aalgaard said...

That has not happened to me, but I would confront that person if it did. I'm sorry that happened to you.

MG Higgins said...

Yikes. No, I haven't. I agree with the commenters suggesting communicating with this person. Sorry I don't have more to offer. Good luck.

Mary Campbell said...

It's so hard to write - especially for newbie's like me and not copy what we read. I'm sure I've done it - a phrase or a description and not realized it. Sometimes it helps in the learning process to take what someone else wrote and try to make it my own. Just suggestions. If she is outright copying you then that's different. Hope it works out and your friendship isn't too damaged by it. Oh and great picture of you and your family - throwing the chalk in the air sounds awesome.

Solvang Sherrie said...

The best thing you can do is talk to the person. It's SO hard to talk about something like that, but if the friendship is worth it, then you need to do it. You might find out that it wasn't intentional. I hope...

Elana Johnson said...

Sadly, I have. And it's terrible, and you want to assume the best of your friend. But I agree with some others, you must talk to her about it. Copy and paste your work with hers underneath and see if she can't see the similarities. That's what worked for me.

*hugs* Tess. This is hard.

Terresa said...

I had this happen last fall. I shared mine with a writerly friend first.

A few weeks later, she said she'd written something and wanted me to read it. A whole section of what she wrote mirrored a section of my writing. I read and re-read her piece, just to make sure. Then I (hesitantly but as boldly as I could) approached her. She said it wasn't her intent and ended up changing some of her essay, which I think was a good thing.

This is awkward when it happens, but good to address. Thanks, Tess.

PJ Hoover said...

I'm really sorry you have to go through something like this. It sounds like a direct approach is the best one.

Sarah said...

Oh, Tess! What an unpleasant issue to deal with! I haven't any experience like it, but for me I'd be paying attention to the person's intent and how they've used what was copied. I think you're doing a great job by taking a step back and processing it before you deal with your friend.

Best of luck as you sort this out!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

I don't know if I'd handle that too well. It depends on how well I know the friend. I know how the Bible says to handle it... it would just be hard to do.

MG Higgins said...

Tess, in case you didn't get back to my blog, I wanted to let you know how much I really, REALLY appreciated your comment. I feel hopeful again. Thank you for annoyingly raising your hand.

Tess said...

I can't tell you how much your input has meant to me today. thank you from the bottom of my heart for the kind and helpful advice.

Tess said...

and, MG: hooray! you SHOULD be encouraged :D

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

This stuck with me after I read it yesterday. I came back to read the advice b/c I have had it happen and I never knew how to handle it.

It's always so difficult to know when to let something go and when to confront something.

Glad to read in your following blog that you lovingly confronted.
~ Wendy

Jennifer Walkup said...

oh what a terrible situtation! it has never happened to me and i'm sorry you're going through this. i agree with the others - talk to her!