What to do when your ideas get stolen
“They stole my blog post!”
I couldn’t believe it- another blogger ripped off an entire blog post I wrote and posted it as their own! They changed about five words in a several hundred-word blog post, but it was virtually intact word-for-word.
At first, I was furious. Who do they think they are, stealing other people’s work? I contacted the blogger and they promptly took it down, but I was still upset!
As I thought about it more, a different thought popped in my head: at least they think my work is worth stealing. Their laziness is keeping them from developing as writer and that’s a shame. It’s not the first time another writer has stolen my work, and hopefully, it won’t be the last.
I want my ideas and work to be so good that people constantly try to steal it. Nobody sells knock-off paper plates; no, they try selling knock-off china or Rolex watches or Rembrandt’s. Great work is protected and valuable because it’s targeted by thieves.
The greater crime of creative ideas
The greater crime is when nobody wants to steal your ideas. If it’s crappy work, no one wants to steal it, let alone buy it! If you put in a ton of time on a project for work and your boss takes the credit, it’s easy to be upset. That’s when you need to realize, “They wish they created something this good. If it wasn’t valuable, they wouldn’t take the credit.”
If someone tries to steal your work, they need to be confronted. Many people hate confrontation, especially if you have them dead to rights. Be absolutely certain of the theft, and then, do something about it. Make that phone call. Send an email. Tweet at them. Do whatever you need to call them out for their theft.
And then, smile and know that someone thought your work was worth stealing. And keep working on your craft. Keep improving and refining your work so that even more people will value it in the future. The real crime is creating mediocre work that no one wants to steal.