Paranoia: Posting Writing Online


I never thought I would end up using this picture, but here it is, front and center.

I often make references to the fact that I love to write, but yet I’ve barely posted any of my work on this blog, or indeed nearly anywhere else online. This may make you question my credibility as a writer: if I indeed love writing as much as I claim to, or if I even indeed write (okay, well I obviously write, as my blog’s 30+ posts show).

But there is a simple reason for the absence of work from my blog: I’m paranoid. My writing paranoia can be summed up in two words: work theft. I’m scared that somebody who knows nothing about the precise and random art of writing will stumble upon my blog, read one of my pieces, and then take it to submit to a contest. Or show it to their friends as their own. Or take my idea, write their own novel out of it, and then publish it under their name.

Several of my friends and family members have blogs where they post their writing, and they have never suffered from any known work theft, but I can’t be blamed for wanting to protect my writing. Part of this is because I often submit my work to become eligible for publishing, and sometimes, it turns out somebody actually likes my writing. Oftentimes, rules for these opportunities include the work not having been published anywhere else online or in anthologies, depending on what type of writing it is.

But the thing is, I’m paranoid. My stories and poems are my creations, and only one of them will ever exist–ever. And if that gets stolen, there’s no replacing it. Never.

Yet the nostalgia that comes with the creation of a blog prevents me from thinking straight. It prevents my paranoia from breaking through. The new-blog feeling sets me free to release my writing online, as shown by my short-story series, “The Bindi Biographies,” which I’ve really meant to continue for the past year…

But the funny thing is that I still blog. I blog knowing people can steal my ideas, the titles of my stories, everything I post. I blog knowing that anybody–just anybody–can claim for this to be their blog, for my identity to be theirs.

For all intents and purposes, nothing ties my real life to this blog (except maybe my dog… but let’s just ignore that, shall we?). Anybody could be me, anybody.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m afraid to post my writing online because I don’t know what will happen to it and, sadly, I don’t trust. I’ve heard the horrible stories of things happening to people’s writing on the internet, and half the time I’m afraid to post my novel’s title on the Internet because there’s nothing tying this blog to me.

But I hope someday to overcome my paranoia, perhaps with writing that has already won an award, or a “retired” piece, which I no longer submit to competitions.

Tell me your thoughts!

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