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  1. sunsplash

    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

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    Copy-cat friends?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by sunsplash, Apr 27, 2014.

    I was originally going to put this in the Not Happy Thread but as I went on a little longer than I intended, I thought maybe it deserved its own post...and others have experienced something similar.

    Is imitation really the sincerest form of flattery? I'm a bit annoyed at a friend right now and I'm not really sure if my feelings are justified. It started about 3 years ago when she found out I made and sold jewelry on etsy. She opened her own shop a few weeks later trying to sell self-made kids clothes. Then I was featured in a couple art fairs/craft shows, nothing big and my booth was always provided for me, and a few months later she shelled out 3k for her own professional stand at some big local event or fair in her area. When I've posted my photography or paintings, it's not long before she does the same. Now, a couple days ago a mutual friend said something to me about my writing aspirations and I wasn't even aware she knew about them. It's not something I publicize, my twitter is networking only - no friends or fam, my blog is only a month old and again, not advertised online to those I know, only a couple others from a private "moms" Facebook group even know what I work on, and our mutual friend is not apart of that and never has been. Writing is not a secret that I'm hiding, but not something I bring up unless asked about either. So, my friend (who seems to pursue similar endeavors to me used to be apart of the moms group but is no longer) just posted on Facebook about her new writing adventure, in my main genre, being available on kindle as of today. I was completely taken aback.

    Now, we are either kindred spirits of some kind and this is all coincidental or she is constantly doing things I do trying to one-up me, which it feels like. All I hear in my head is "anything you can do I can do better, I can do anything better than you." LOL I realize how ridiculous this sounds but it really bugs me! I don't wish her failure at all but it really feels like she is passive-aggressively competing with me. I can't be certain that she knows about my writing but from what I've gathered, someone in the moms group must've had said something to my copy-cat friend for our mutual friend, who is not apart of the group and never was, to know...and it all comes to light to me just days before this big book reveal. I'm just like, "really, again?"

    Follow all that? If not, I apologize...I'm still a little flustered.

    Anyway, I clicked her link and read the synopsis and thought it was pretty poorly written and overpriced...that made me feel a little better. Naughty, sunsplash! :oops:
     
  2. 123456789

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    From the last paragraph, sounds like you're the one competing.


    Also, everyone and their mother is "working on a novel."
     
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  3. sunsplash

    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

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    It may sound like that, but really I'm just being snarky. If it weren't the same person over and over again, I wouldn't even notice. Everyone ventures out into something and I wholeheartedly support all my friends' endeavors. It's the fact that it's the same woman in the same medias with conspicuous timing to myself that has me, for whatever reason, upset. Whether it's justified, I don't know...which is why I brought it here. I need the heat beat out of me, ha.
     
  4. Okon

    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't see why it would bug you. Everybody I know is better at everything than I am good at, and it doesn't bother me:).

    Just be the best you can be, and appreciate what she does right. If you shoot her stuff down in general, you'll sound insecure (like your comment about her story). Ten points to you if you let her know even one thing that you liked about her story/pictures/childrens' clothes. There's always something, and it will make everyone happier.
     
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  5. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I completely see why it would annoy you. I'm not saying that it's a logical rational feeling, but I think that it's a completely understandable one.
     
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  6. sunsplash

    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

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    It's not that she's better than me...our etsy ventures were entirely different. I can barely hem straight so was never anything but complimentary of her stuff and always wished her luck in the sales booths especially because she invested so much money into it ahead of time. The art never bugged me either, but it was the first acknowledgement I made of "oh, so you do that, too?" No jealousy. It just always seems to be something that I've been doing for a while and she gets a sudden interest in it and does the same, but usually she's extremely gung-ho with it for a fleeting period of time. It may just seem more in my face too with her constant advertisement about what she's doing and asking for support, where I usually don't talk about stuff until the "after" period.

    I did send a message of congratulations to her after I posted here and she replied back "thx for the support now go by it! :)" If I point out the grammatical error/typo will I be thought of as jealous and competing again? LOL It just feels like if I started selling flaming poo as perfume tomorrow, she'd have something similar next week.

    I'm apparently overreacting though and waaaay off base...so thanks for the reality check!
     
  7. Okon

    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Kind of. Being brief will make it easier to just brush her off politely. And I was wrong in my original post: @ChickenFreak is right, there is some natural thing there, and I was too quick to judge you on it:).

    Nitpicking her will make you SEEM insecure was all I was saying, though. I don't think you actually are. What's important to me is recognizing when our comrades do something right (even miniscule) because it shows you appreciate the craft for what it is: craft, and not a contest.
     
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  8. sunsplash

    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

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    Oh I wasn't going to call her out on it, I meant getting more criticism on here for it! :p I do honestly wish her the best but my initial reaction was almost the same as exhaustion...I can't really explain it. But either way it seems I'm being irrational and shouldn't take it personally. I don't know and can't prove her motives. Maybe my endeavors just inspire her because she has similar interests and it comes across as competitive because she's more "loud" about what she's doing. I'm not as outspoken because I never want to appear like I'm seeking attention for what I do, if that makes sense, so it can feel like she's trying to out-do me when really she's just more vocal.
     
  9. jazzabel

    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would trust my intuition on this if I were you. If you think she's copying you, and it sounds like you are right, then go with that. In my experience, people like that can turn very vicious in the end. It's a strange situation in which they can start feeling like you are the one ripping them off, so it can get quite messy.

    I'd blank her, not have anything to do with her anymore, but that's me. I don't suffer fools gladly, not in my close circle anyway.

    I had a strange experience once, though. I wrote short stories on a blog, and had a pretty big following. When I left to do another project, I was contacted by a few people asking me if I opened another blog. When I checked it out, I saw that a fan started her own blog, it was her stories but she ripped off my style, which is pretty unique, to a T. It was very strange reading it. Like something I wrote but didn't remember (and it needed a lot of editing - my homage to a passive aggressive dig :p). There was nothing malicious in what she did, and I did feel a little flattered, but in the same way as when my cat brings me a dead bird present. Creepy,
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
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  10. KaTrian

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I can see why you'd feel this way, but it is quite flattering, isn't it? Maybe you're inspiring her. She sees you have the courage to do the things she too would like to do, and that inspires her to go for her dreams as well? You two could always join forces on some of those ventures. It might also give you a better idea whether she's in it because she likes doing that stuff or if she just wants to copy you or rip you off (I'm not sure why people would want to do this, other than because they think what you're doing is awesome and they wish they had come up with it).
     
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  11. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what she's doing is only what any smart person would do these days, if they have a product to sell... and it's all advised by those in the know, all over the internet, so she could well be following such advice and the timing only coincidental...

    that said, so what if she is copying you?... that simply puts you in the position of having been a good role model, can not be considered an insult by any stretch of the imagination... and since her product is not in competition with yours, what's the harm?
     
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  12. peachalulu

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I found that creative people attract these types. Mainly the copy cats don't know what to do with themselves and need a sortof guide someone they admire. I wouldn't worry about it - take it as flattery and then put up a hoax endeavor - tell her you bought a pungi and took up snake charming lessons. Then see if she follows suit. ;)
     
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  13. cutecat22

    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    I would be hard pushed not to correct her obvious error! If she thinks she's a writer, the least she can do is send grammatically correct messages! :-D

    But yes, imitation is the best form of flattery and what you should be doing is smiling at the fact that all her ideas have had to come from somewhere else, namely, you. So go and hold your head high and put on that big smile knowing that you were the original!
     
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  14. sunsplash

    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

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    Ok, so my reaction was understandable, even if overly sensitive...that makes me feel a little better. You all are right, though...I need to see the positive and try to not be annoyed. I felt better this morning after having slept on it and ultimately decided I think my issue lies with lack of direct acknowledgement or recognition because she compliment fishes for her innovations, and while it would be appreciated, she doesn't owe me inspirational credit, and I need to let it go. We live over 1500 miles apart and what she's doing doesn't hurt anything I'm doing so I need to just keep on and not concern myself with it anymore. We may have similar interests but our styles are about as distinctive as our politics, lol. I think I have a fear of our mutual circle getting it backward and thinking I'm the copy-cat and my creativity felt threatened. It's such a small issue in the scheme of things and I need to be proud of my own efforts and that someone else wants to do the same because of me.
     
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  15. plothog

    plothog Contributing Member Contributor

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    This sort of inspiration is one of the big reasons I actually moved from being someone who was going to write a novel one day, to someone who is actively writing a novel.
    An old friend from university showed me that he'd got three self published novels on Lulu. What's more he claims that he doesn't actually read novels. (Mostly he just seems to read RPG source books)
    Sure he's not selling many, but he managed to actually put the effort in to write that much.
    I thought well if my none reading friend can write three whole novels, I don't have any excuse to not give it a go.
     
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  16. cutecat22

    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    I have done all sorts in my time but writing and self publishing my books is one of the few things I've done from start to finish. The first was a very short true life book, more an information thing but the first fiction one really took over my life. I don't mind admitting that when I finished the initial writing and hit the save button, I sat and cried!

    So maybe you are a massive inspiration to her, just revel in the knowledge that you know exactly how hard it is to write something good and know you met that milestone. Without sounding horrible, hopefully her stuff isn't as good as yours! (especially if her messages are anything to go by!) :)
     
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  17. sunsplash

    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

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    I haven't pursued the self-publishing route, it's just not something I'm interested in, and I from what I've read between others commenting and her replies, it's something she churned out quite quickly and published to say she's "an actual published author now," her words, not mine. That made me feel like she was trying to beat me to the punch and reach a higher standard so that if my works are ever available, she can say she did it first (this is a common theme with her...if your kid does A, hers did it sooner and already mastered B, if you take a two week vacation somewhere, she did a semester abroad in that same place in college, if you experience something tragic, she's had the same loss but exacerbated, etc). I'll admit, I do sometimes question her truthfulness since she projects herself to be so experienced in everything. My main project has been a labor of love for nearing two years now, and my other projects have either not been polished enough for submission or are stories I've chosen to keep for myself and never actively pursued publication. I can appreciate the accomplishment of finishing a book, honestly...good for her!...what irked me most was that she doesn't seem to understand the depth at which most writers dive to feel the same, almost marginalizing the efforts put into the craft. I think most of us can agree what we do is rewarding but difficult, not easy or a whim just to call ourselves writers. I can't comment on the quality of her writing other than her synopsis. Her web-speak and grammar is poor but I'm more lax online, too, and wouldn't want my WIPs to be judged by blurbs here and there either. I should be the bigger person and buy it to support her but I'm not quite there yet, lol.
     
  18. cutecat22

    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    I agree that to be a good friend you do need to support her (or friends in general) but that doesn't mean you have to buy her book if it's of no interest to you. That's not something I would expect my friends to do (and I know some of them haven't because what I write about is 'not their thing'.

    But yes, I think we all have a friend who's been there and done that only with bells on :) and for me, the only way to deal with them is to wish them luck and move on, preferably in the opposite direction.

    I probably make as many mistakes in my posts as the next person (as I do in my books which is why I use a human proofer and my narrator prog to help me pick up errors) but one thing I cannot get to grips with, is text and web speak, it really pushes my buttons o_O I have a friend who helps me with my facebook page and whenever she posts on my behalf, I have to go straight in there and edit the post, inserting capital letters, commas and generally putting it right. I think that's the control freak part of me coming through!
     
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