I didn’t mean it that way, Miss Codi. Truly, I didn’t. Dead serious. Nothing up my sleeve. I never meant for you to stop blogging or abandon your Instagram. Do you feel bullied? I never meant to bully you.
Seriously. Come back and come in. Take your shoes off. Would you like a cup of tea? This is my little place on the internet and you’re welcome here. Indeed. Come sit on the couch. Would you like to sit on my lap? Or how’s this? Maybe we could get to know one another and snuggle under the covers. Clothes on. Scout’s honor.
I want you to be comfortable.
On the real, Miss Codi—how could I be anything but flattered? So you stole some (3) posts from my little place on the internet, posted them on your Tumblr, and kinda maybe fibbed a little about writing them yourself. Big deal. I mean—wait. Okay. In a way, it’s not very cool. But not in the way you’re worried about. You’re okay, girl. Leave the lights on.
Listen. People on the internet are straight up crazy. Most of them don’t care one smidge about any genuine ethics of plagiarism. Not at all. What they want is the opportunity to feel insanely self-righteous, shoot off at the mouth about it, lose their fool minds, and beat the living snot out of someone. But to hell with those people, sweetie. My comments are CLOSED.
And to tell you the truth, I’m on the fence about how I feel about plagiarism. Once I write this stuff and hit “Publish,” it shoots all over the world and appears on 1000s of screens and phones. People take stuff I write and make banners out of it or paint it on shit and send me pictures. They quote it. They link to it. A lot of stuff I write Stumbles and Tumbls. It’s cool as hell. Probably the coolest thing I can imagine about the fate of ANYTHING I write is the possibility that someone—anyone, anywhere—will someday remember it. Isn’t that a pretty thing to imagine? Even if this reads like bragging, what it is is fucking humbling. And you know what else it is? It’s enough. It’s more than enough. It’s cup runneth over type shit.
Who am I to claim ownership of these words? They just fall on me, like rain, and I write them down. Can I really accuse someone of stealing them when I’m the one who tossed them to the wind? Besides, it’s all just a dance of 26 letters, some space, and punctuation. What’s it mean to call these words mine? Hell, you’re the one reading them. Now, they’re yours. Forget them. Remember them. I don’t care. Jot the hot stuff down and give it to your lover. If you get some—hell—we ALL win.
I’m glad, Miss Codi, that the things I write impress you enough to wish that you, yourself, wrote them. Sincerely. And the reason it’s not cool doesn’t hinge on ethics and stealing and being wrong and bad. Being bad is awesome; I often am. Rather, to copy my stuff isn’t cool, dear, because it denies you the opportunity to bask in the pure pleasure and unparalleled joy of writing the things that only YOU can write. Only YOU can say what you say the way you can say it. And the real beauty of the whole enterprise is that what only you can say is always right there, right in front of you, waiting to be said. Trust it is all. Trust it. Even if it appears too weird and strange to write. That’s the stuff, Miss Codi. The stuff you resist writing is your style in labor. Breathe. Push. Let it be born.
How? A few quick pointers and then off you go. I never said you could stay all night.
When you’re wondering what to write, shut your eyes. In mere seconds (it can’t be avoided), something will appear. Don’t chase it away. Invite it in. Offer it some tea. Ask it to sit on your lap or snuggle under the covers. Talk to it. See what it wants. Write down whatever it tells you. It might say something like “The moon tonight is a thorn in my side” or “Stare at endings” or “There will come a day, if you’re lucky, when all your greatest futures melt into puddles that you splash around in, fitfully, for awhile until they all dry up and you just stand there, looking dazed and feeling stupid.” All the posts you borrowed began just this way, with one quirky little phrase that had a story it wanted to tell.
Go get quiet. Listen. Tell your story. Now shake your ass home and start over again.