friday's confession: I was copied.

I_was_copied  

Last week, I received a facebook message from a fellow coach. She had recently come across a blog that had stolen some of her work. A quick google search led her to realize that my work had also been stolen.

13 blog posts of mine to be exact. Copied and pasted into someone else’s blog. Signed “xo, tami” as if they were her words.

It is an awful feeling to see the words you’ve written under someone else’s name.

It is an awful feeling to read a post that you worked so hard on published on someone else’s website.

It is an awful feeling to realize that someone else - someone who claims to be a coach nonetheless - has claimed your stories as her own.

At first I felt violated. Then I got mad. Then I got sad.

Sad that someone thought it was okay to steal the words of so many creative, smart women. Sad that someone who could do this coached clients who trusted her with their dreams. Sad that someone would build an entire brand around not only other people’s ideas, but their exact words while simultaneously promising to help people live more authentic lives.

This woman took the stories of my life. The stories of the lessons I learned, that I worked hard to craft so as to share those lessons with all of you. With vulnerability. And joy. And everything in between.

Stolen with a two strokes of the keyboard.

And the saddest truth of all is that things like this happen all the time. Nearly every successful creative entrepreneur I know has been copied in one way or another. It happens to artists, writers, and designers. And unfortunately, the more we put our work out in a public arena, the more susceptible we are.

If you’ve thought about copying:

Just. Don’t. Do. It.

You will be found out. This is a very very VERY small world and while it may seem like no one will ever know, they will. And it will come back to bite you. So just don’t do it.

And for the rest of you - for those of you who would never copy but have thought “Oh, if only I could {write/paint/draw/photograph} like {Alex Franzen/Kelly Rae Roberts/Emily McDowell/Susannah Conway}, my time will come” - know this:

Yes. All of these women create beauty with their art. But that doesn't mean you can't create beauty too. It won't be the same as the beautiful photographs Susannah takes. Or the beautiful girlies Kelly Rae paints. Or the beautiful things that Emily draws. Or the beautiful words that Alexandra writes.

You have your own kind of beauty. That which is only yours to create. And the only way you’ll find it is to start creating.

Start writing. Start painting. Start drawing. Start taking pictures.

Today. Right now. This very second.

And then keep doing it. Every single day.

Make it your obsession. Fill your notebook with scribbles. Take Facebook off your phone and just use the camera to capture what you see. Commit to making 100 paintings in 100 days. Draw all the time.

Because it's the thing that fills you up. Because you can’t not do it.

And then keep at it still. Keep going. One day, you’ll look back and realize that you’ve created a body of work. Your own body of work.

A body of work that is exclusively yours, beautiful in its own right.

You can do this. I promise.