As a writer the one thing that I am most afraid of is plagiarism. Not that I will actively seek to do so, because that is totally wrong, but that I will unknowingly plagiarise someone’s work because it’s influenced me in such a way. In saying that, the amount of works out there that are similar is astonishing. Where is the line drawn, though?
For example, I read a book called Feed by M. T. Anderson. Feed is set in a world where about 73% of Americans are directly connected to a huge computer network via a device implanted in their brain called a ‘feed’. The feed allows them access to entertainment, to chat to each other, shop, even rewind their own memories. I mentioned this book in a conversation with Mutay the other day, and she noted how similar it is to an episode of Black Mirror, ‘The Entire History of You’, where people have a ‘grain’ implanted in them that records everything they see, hear or do. Whilst not entirely the same concept with the entertainment system, etc., I can definitely see the similarities. In saying that, I’m not out here trying to accuse Charlie Brooker of plagiarism.
I remember in Media Studies learning about simulacrum. I have always found the idea of simulacrum to be interesting because it is a representation or imitation of a person or thing – not necessarily plagiarism. I guess that is what is happening in today’s society. Most of the media being pumped out daily isn’t original, it’s just a recycled version of something else. Songs, films, tv shows, most of it really.
Anyway, I’m not really sure what direction I wanted to take this post in and I feel like I’m rambling. I just really wanted to get shit off my chest because as I am currently working on my manuscript, I’m really trying not to let things stop me. So, despite these fears I know I should keep pushing on because this has always been a dream of mine – I shouldn’t let anything get in my way.
I’ve been working on a story since I went to China in 2011 and reading back on it now, I realise how influenced I was by ‘V for Vendetta’ because it was something I had watched before I started writing. I guess that’s where all of these fears stem from. I wouldn’t want a publisher to turn around and say to me, “What the fuck is this shit? You literally just copied the Wachowski Brothers!” I’m planning on redoing parts of my story, anyway, but it’s something that often crossed my mind when I was rereading it.
Nevertheless, 2017 is the year I overcome these fears. I’ve wanted to be an author ever since the dawn of time and it’s finally time to put my arse into gear. No-one is going to become an author for me, it’s something I have to achieve myself but I can do that with the support from others, too. To anyone having doubts about what they’re doing just think, “Is this what I want to do?” and if it is – keep at it. Be the you you truly want to be. ❤️