By Sarah Evans
P.O.V. Contributing Writer
Hi there! My name is Sarah and I blog over at A Cat-Like Curiosity. I am a creative person who spends her time creating artwork, crocheting, sewing and writing. I’d love to have you over on my blog!
Today I wanted to talk about something which I have noticed about myself recently and which I wonder if others feel the same way. I can’t possibly be the only weirdo out there, can I?
I am talking about something I call the “Do they mean me?” phenomenon. I am struck by this phenomenon whenever I read a blog post berating people who don’t leave comments correctly or who are too desperate for new followers or who copy other people’s ideas. I am always struck by this on thought: “Do they mean me?”
Now, I’ll start off by saying that I have never been approached by anyone who has complained about the way I do things online. I have only encountered friendliness really. No one has ever complained about a comment I have left on their blog. I have never had anyone message me on Etsy saying I have copied their ideas. I have never copied anyone’s ideas. I have been inspired by them though.
That’s a very fine line to walk though, isn’t it. When does “inspired by” become “copied from”? Do all people have the same boundary line here, or is it more subjective?
For example, I sell on my store something called an Art With Love package. In it I offer either three or six months of packages sent by mail. Each pack contains one original artwork, 3/4 art prints or photos plus an emailed artistic inspiration newsletter.
I love this product. I get all excited every time I make up a parcel. It really is sent with love as far as I’m concerned. I was inspired to make these packages by lots of things. There have been lots of blog hops where people send out gifts to each other. Jewellery swaps, book swaps, summer gift swaps. I have really enjoyed participating in them. The thing I have enjoyed the most is receiving something through the post that isn’t a bill (!) and also packaging up my own little gifts to send off. I loved it. So, that was a part of my inspiration.
I also read a little about Julie Kesti and how she sends out packages of art from the far east to subscribers. I read all about people’s Umba Box experiences. All of these things inspired me to create my own little packages of love I could send out to people.
Is this inspiration or is it copying? It’s a difficult one to judge I suppose. I am open and honest about when I have taken inspiration in creating something from someone else. I think that helps to keep everyone fully aware of where things come from. It also makes it clear that I’m not necessarily claiming to take the credit for a concept necessarily (although I’m not sure sending present via the post can be claimed as a concept really). I am just giving you my own take on something I think is a brilliant idea and a strong concept that I feel passionate about.
My question is this: Does anyone else do this too? Does anyone else immediately wonder if the person complaining about something in general terms actually talking about them? I do it in “real life,” too, not just online. I always assume that the person is talking about me.
I don’t think I am an especially timid or nervous sort of person. I am really quite a confident person. But still I have this “Do they mean me?” reaction. I’m really not sure why.
I would love to know though……