I didn't think I would ever hear the word "copycat" out of middle school but here we are.
Without sounding too full of myself this happened slowly, I noticed people around me who never once expressed interest in blogging until I started, just happened to start right after I did. Now I didn't start my blog on a whim, it was something I wanted to do in high school but was afraid what others would think (shocker). I know I'm not the first blogger and won't be the last, but I now have people directly taking ideas from here and my Instagram; if they were strangers I would most likely feel different, but they're not.
The truth of the matter is it absolutely SUCKS I spend time on what I put out in the world and for others just to take it as their own is hurtful. This isn't a shirt you liked and went out and bought the same one - you're copying my passion.
"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", until it starts to bug the hell out of you — or worse, you learn someone has flat out copied or stolen your work. Navigating the gray area of admiration versus duplication can be challenging. So after I blocked these people, yes blocked and sorry I'm not sorry I created 3 ways to help deal with copycats.
If someone is copying my work repeatedly and I've already done what I can it's time to move on. People who try and use others work for their only inspiration simply won't last. I constantly have to remind myself that focusing on what these people are doing is taking away from time I could be focusing on myself.
The heart and soul I put into by work can never be 'copied' and by being more secure with myself and my work I can let go.
And by walk I mean sprint.
I can't always know what is simply a coincidence so my newly found solution is to simply walk away (or block) those that I don't want taking up space in my head. It's completely fine to distance yourself from people who cant seem to create their own content. If inspiring others has turned more into getting taken advantage of you can politely chose to unfollow or block.
Talk to Them
I struggle with this. But it really is an important step when you find yourself being bothered by someone copying you. How can you call someone out without becoming the "mean girl"? If you're extremely non confrontational like myself you'll want to avoid going down the road of defensiveness, or backtracking entirely without making your voice heard.
Write a simple note saying that you see that it looks like they've been inspired by your work (blah blah blah) and if they want you can point them in a direction for inspiration.
Using this idea you aren't directly calling a person out and your even being nice by offering them help. Will this always work? No, In my experience when people get called out for their wrong doings they get very defensive and angry. But you voiced your concern and that's all you can do unless you want to resort to legal action.
Have you ever dealt with a copycat? Share your stories and advice in the comments!