I remember a couple months ago I happened on a fellow blogger’s site through a twisted path of gravatars and comment sections. The first thing I noticed there was a curious post eerily similar to one I had published the day before. Upon further investigation I found it was almost exactly what I had published the day before.
The title was changed. A few sentences were changed. But whole sections were obviously copied and pasted and left unchanged from my original piece. I looked for my name as a reference/footnote/shoutout and found it nowhere. No linkage love at all.
Roughly 800 words of unique thought. Misattributed.
Imitation (plagiarism?) is the highest form of flattery…So I was flattered, and I also wondered (here’s where my shameless pride comes in):
If the original blogger/author’s name was CS Lewis or Donald Miller would a reference be shared then?
I see and share my fair share of quotes from theological and literary giants. Many quotes I share I first found through another’s Twitter, Facebook, or blog. Very few quotes do I actually find through personally reading the native work. So I rely largely, and maybe disingenuously, on the careful reading of others.
I’ll continue sharing those quotes too (and so should you). Because there is some redemptive value in using social media as a pithy sounding board.
For example: Some may get the misguided impression that I’m a bibliophile of books by reformed dead guys. Not at all. For the most part, I don’t like to read Puritan literature, I like to have read Puritan literature. Happening upon a penetrating internet exhortation by Spurgeon is much easier than sloshing through a run-on exposition of Hebrews by John Owen.
Because of our natural-born predisposition to performance and praise of man, we wear other’s quotes like our own spiritual badge of honor.
And when the quote is from an unknown dude with a minimal platform, giving credit is less attractive to us. If we’re not gonna score points with our tribe then what’s the point? Amirite?!
So I’m personally committed to getting better at this. There are some flat-out brilliant folk in the little blogging circle I run in who can write and wax philosophically like the second coming of Francis Schaeffer. Regular warrior-poets like
and many more.
So share and give some love to the ordinary guys and gals who are doing the extraordinary work of the Kingdom with no adulating masses to prop up their work. And even if your audience is One with zero traffic on the stat page, you still have a unique and gifted voice the world needs. Keep using it Beloved til it’s all used up for His glory.
Who Are The Little Known Writers/Bloggers You Would Like To Share?
Peace and grace,