This image is one of my favorites. The sight of the brave bear standing against an overwhelming opponent, two impossibilities faced off in conflict. This image eventually inspired me to create teddy bears fighting nightmares. Inspiration, though, can be a fine line, searching for that balance between it and theft.I had debated the idea for a long time before developing it for that reason. It still makes me queasy, however, no matter how much time I have spent making it my idea. Quite possibly I will contact the artist to tell them of this now that I have tracked them down. I’ve been accused of plagiarism in the past and thought of it happening again makes me both angered and humiliated.
Granted, the mentioned incident did not revolve around my fiction. It occured in college when I was working on my history degree. The attributions were there, but my mistake was in how I had listed them. I wanted to develop a previous paper into a senior thesis. When the subject was broached, I obtained the book in question for the department head to examine. At the end of class one day, he called me up. Some of that class were in his next and others were drifting in when he said “Well, it doesn’t look like you plagiarized, but…” While he went on about how I should have made the notations all I could think of was the humiliation of his having this discussion before other department peers. Stealing another’s ideas or words sets me off.
Where is the line between inspiration and appropriation? I feel as though my ideas are my own, but it still makes me nervous. I have been reticent until in the last year to put any of my work online, whether fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. I am as nervous that someone may take my words as uncomfortable at the thought of taking too much from another person. I jealously guard my creations, just as much as I feel that my work is worthless.
I’m losing focus now, so I will call an end to this post. Thanks for coming by and I hope to see you back again. Take care, darlings, and be kind to yourself. See you soon.