Are You Telling YOUR Story?

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“In life, finding a voice is speaking and living the truth. Each of you is an original. Each of you has a distinctive voice. When you find it, your story will be told. You will be heard.” — John Grisham

A while back on Pinterest someone liked my Pinterest boards, so much that she went through an in about a half hour pinned exact boards with the titles and pin themes that I created. If you aren't a serious pinner, you might not understand why that's a big deal  but these were Pinterest boards that I had worked on for more than a year, finding the perfect pin to add, removing items that didn't fit and creating the content that I wanted for each board. This person came to Pinterest as a brand new pinner and jump-started with my content and the content of my friends pins that were on a list of top pinners to follow. Granted, she was new to Pinterest and maybe didn't know that was bad pin etiquette but it was none the less. Pinterest can be a create expression of you and your story. Make it your story. {click to tweet}

Another example is people's text on their bio. This is very hard fought for real estate as some people spend a really long time crafting the perfect 120 characters on the Twitter bio. Seeing a great bio should have you say “wow, that person rocks” not “hey, I can cut and paste this to my bio.” It's happened. There's no possible way that one person could have all the same work background or interests exactly. Taking the fast track, by stealing, isn't the way to go.

You know in your heart that these aren't your ideas. How will you maintain the facade of someone's else's ideas? Steal more? It's a slippery slope.

The way to be really heard (read: understood, liked, and appreciated) is to be yourself. Everyone has interesting and unique qualities. Find yours and rock them! {click to tweet}

Are you telling YOUR story?


• Be original.

• Come up with your own ideas.

• Wait for inspiration, don't steal other people's ideas.

• If you are inspired by someone else's idea, give them credit for their intellectual property.

The only way that you will provide value or become someone of interest is if that idea/writing/photo is YOU. When you are copying other people's ideas, you are not “creating” you are rehashing and people notice. Like someone's interview series idea? Great but come up with your own format, not there's to tell your story.

Be the very best you that you can be and tell your story. That's the most interesting story of all. {click to tweet}

Photo credit: Featured image by lecasio/Flickr and internal photo from BigStock
Article by Peg Fitzpatrick

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  1. Hi Peg, this is so true. Stealing is definitely not the way, to go. People should be aware of that. I know image stealing is a big issue with Google Images finding things so easily – it seems easy just to ….take it. Content is another thing indeed. We all work hard on it, and taking it is nasty. But having said that, we all build on each other’s ideas and somehow we all copy/steal in a way. Not like you showed, but it is hard to be entirely original.  However, this is a nice reminder to keep this in mind when creating anything. Inspired by, not copied from :>

    1. madlemmings 
      I agree that we can be inspired by many sources. That’s why most of my articles have a resource list at the bottom and direct quotes with links to the original article. I’m very careful about creating those as I go so I don’t miss one. I’m also inspired by conversations that I have with people so sometimes that will be mentioned.
      Being inspired is great!

  2. Thanks for your post!!
    For awhile, I thought I was the only one who felt this way about being original. I have had the same exact problem with it as you. And for those who disagreed and called me out on it, I’ve seen your boards… Nothing worth  “stealing” 🙂  Michelle

  3. I suppose it may be a case of “gee, I want to be more like you and if I cut and paste your work, I will be.”
    In Andrea Turkle’s book, Alone Together, she talks about the teenagers who create Facebook profiles that are not entirely accurate. When asked about it , they respond that they would like to be more like their avatars.
    While some may find it flattering that others are so enamored of your work that they feel compelled to copy, I don’t understand how it can feel good to know that something you have just posted is a complete fabrication; a lie.
    Indeed, I may want to be more like you and that might be an aspiration. But does pilfering someone’s identity make it happen? For some, apparently so.

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