Just a blog

Posted by jdg | Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This makes me sick.

You see this website as a way to write whatever you want to write, without pressure from agents or editors or marketers. One day you're writing about your kid's relationship with her dog and the next you're writing about stolen manhole covers and ancient Rome and your readers forgive you for that, and stay with you through it (possibly even enjoying it). You love this freedom. You love that this medium tolerates everyone from teenaged diarists to tech-obsessed nerds to pretentious pricks. Occasionally you find people using websites like this for the kind of writing you can't find even in the best magazines anymore; writing that's raw and uncalculated. Immediate. True.

Then you come home from a few days at the lake, the feeling of milfoil and clay still on your toes, to read that just such a person has had her work serially plagiarized, photos of her husband and children used to concoct some other life. One of the great virtues of this medium---its pure democracy---also makes such anonymous plagiarism and co-option of identity a danger. People with inscrutable motives will say, "You put it out there. You asked for it." But those people are just plain wrong. Writers like Kate have helped legitimize blogging as a medium for good writing.

We all need to work together to protect her. And all our writing.