January 29, 2015


via Pinterest

Very true.  While trends and fads will fade over time, filling the colorful pages of both our memories and pop culture, creativity truly never goes out of style.  Creativity is the driving force behind innovation, the flow behind art and fashion and of course, consumerism.  Without it, consumerism would be bland.  Creativity indeed makes the world go round; brightens the monotony of our days.

These are my thoughts as I think about what consumerism means to me.  I've never been one to follow fads and trends for long, as my soul has always tended to forge my own path amid the loudness of the world around me.  But I pay my dues to the trends that creativity fosters; the very ideas turned into products that fill page after page of Etsy searches.  My own included.  This line of contemplation has made me wonder if creativity is at all an individual endeavor, or if it is really a collective endeavor with its own little niches, nooks and crannies for the individual to make one's own.

We are all inundated with visual pop culture representations via real life and online sources, its loudness visible in SEO-friendly verbiage and hipster-heavy photography.  We often forget that behind the polished branding and blatant consumeristic slant this highly stylized, appealing visual representation was once a mere, simple idea.  A creative twinkle in someone's eye.  But what separates creativity from trend is the staying power of the idea and not just the physical product itself.  A genius idea--say Einstein's Theory of Relativity, or Dickinson's poetry, or Mohnton Knitting Mill's American-made cotton tees--is one that never goes out of style.  Instead, it becomes uniquely reinterpreted over the years to fit into vast stretches of time (with its interesting time-period trends and fads).  Creativity is, to sum it up, an adaptable force to be reckoned with.

January 16, 2015

January 12, 2015

Not-So Secret Thoughts on Copycats

As you likely know by now, I've had a recent run-in with a copycat of my writing service listings.  With the evidence I provided, Etsy deleted all of this seller's plagiarizing listings (and there were many of them). This was writing stolen from me for someone else's profit, hence the validity of the case.  I had asked the seller to remove my writing three times before seeking legal help.  Legal intervention was sought when this seller in question removed only some of my writing from his listing descriptions, although I had clearly outlined what needed to be removed because it constituted plagiarism.

Plagiarism: the unlawful stealing of others' words AND ideas to function as the stealer's own--this is a universal concept with legal implications.  In my opinion as a professional writer, this pertinent concept must be engrained into the back of any writer's mind, or else highly relevant questions of ethics and integrity will ensue, and the writer's credibility questioned.

Regardless, I am not a mean-spirited person.  Still, I know that the seller in question read this detailed blog entry about his plagiarism of my writing, and afterwards even carefully attempted to change his listing descriptions--but only after Etsy deleted his plagiarized listings.  I have Google stats to thank for this statistical piece of information.  Why did my previous post about this case specifically list instances of plagiarism by this seller?  Maybe they were pointers on how to not be a copycat, rather than documented solely as evidence.

via Pinterest

Since the plagiarist's original copycat listings were removed, let's hope this second chance is integrity-driven, for I will be keeping a VIGILANT eye out.  I will publicly pursue any plagiarism of my writing because integrity runs deep down into my bones.  With my last two blog posts, one now knows what constitutes plagiarism, so I hope the right choice is made.

We tend to complicate the process, each and every one of us.  A solution: don't plagiarize, don't obscure the truth, and treat others like we ourselves would like to be treated.  Oh, and fully embrace integrity.

January 03, 2015

A Note on Plagiarists

I am exceedingly frustrated after recently running into my own copycat.  A few days ago, I learned that my professional writing services, which are offered only through my EmeraldCut | The Introverted Writer Etsy shop, have been plagiarized by another seller on the site (whom I have reported to Etsy*).  This act of plagiarism infringes upon my intellectual property, as this seller has copy and pasted my writing service's listing descriptions directly into their shop listings and used my words as their own--including changing words around, deleting a word and injecting their own in its place, and even keeping entire phrases, sentences, and timelines that I myself have developed over time as a professional writer.

As you know, integrity and honesty matter a lot to me personally and as a seller/writer.  I take great pride in crafting quality writing services for my clients, and have even documented the evolving process in this blog.  With a Master's degree, I possess the academic training to clearly articulate the words that oftentimes do not readily present themselves, allowing for a well-crafted written work.  In other words, I hold my writing to an extremely high standard, and do not take this plagiarism lightly.  A cease and desist letter has been emailed to the plagiarist to remove my words--this is a resolution that will not need Etsy's intervention.  Etsy has a stringent intellectual property policy, so in this cease and desist letter, I have clearly outlined the issue at hand and strongly encouraged this seller to remove my writing from their site before Etsy becomes legally involved.

Unfortunately, I am not alone in being plagiarized.  If you'd like to help spread the word about this widespread issue, please share this blog entry on your social media accounts. 

*An Etsy seller's intellectual property is clearly protected under Etsy's Copyright and Intellectual Property Policy, which you can read here.

* * *

UPDATE #1 (1/4, noon):
The plagiarist seller has claimed innocence, stating that any "inadvertent overlap" is coincidental.  He/she has only deleted the words, phrases, and sentences that I have pointed out are my intellectual property.  Copying and pasting someone else's writing to use as a template (and retaining its ideas) is stealing--it is not an "inadvertent overlap"!  I've forwarded this correspondence to Etsy's legal and integrity departments as further evidence.

UPDATE #2 (1/4, 11pm):
After six exhausting emails back and forth, the plagiarizing seller has finally changed some of his shop listings' wording, but has still kept certain phrases and words of mine (the latter of which have retained the same all-capital-letters emphasis that I placed on them in my own listing descriptions!) that I didn't directly point out.  This means that he is still plagiarizing my work.

The fact that the plagiarist's listing descriptions have been changed multiple times upon my insistence (via a cease and desist letter) is strong evidence for my case that this seller has copied my writing and attempted to claim my words as his own.  If there was no question of plagiarism, then this seller would have no need to edit any of his listings' writing--and I would not be in this situation, pursuing this case.  In truth, it was because of the cease and desist letter that any changes were made at all.  This case will still be sent to Etsy legal for investigation.

UPDATE #3 (1/5-1/6):
I've sent the evidence and filed a formal complaint pertaining to this case to Etsy legal for investigation, and am awaiting their reply.  If Etsy finds plausible evidence in my favor, then the plagiarist's shop will either be shut down, or its listing descriptions removed entirely.

FINAL UPDATE (1/8-1/9):
Etsy has removed the plagiarist seller's listings that contained my intellectual property--which specifically included layout, subheadings, sentence structure, wording, word usage, use of the same all-caps format for specific words in subheadings and in sentences, and thought process.  And this was evidence of plagiarism that was left after I had contacted the seller three times (plus sent the letter) to remove my writing from his listings.

The formal complaint filed against this seller for copyright and intellectual property infringement will permanently remain in Etsy's system, so if attempts are made to plagiarize my writing again, I am certain that Etsy will take appropriate action on my behalf.  As for myself, I have saved all correspondence and documents pertaining to this case, since I have no qualms with updating and resending evidence--if the need arises, and if this seller strikes again (which he has).  I will refrain from additional documentation of this particular case because the information I have posted here has been, for lack of a better phrase, used for further plagiarism (thanks for the sleuthing, Google Analytics).

It's the integrity of my writing and ideas that I am maintaining here.  These words and ideas are not only what I wrote--they also originated with me; I edited them meticulously over the years, and it is my right as an Etsy seller per Etsy policy to fight against any plagiarists.  Any person who does not understand what plagiarism is needs to remember how they obtained the information.  In this specific case, if the writing is copied and pasted DIRECTLY from another online source, and then some words are added and others deleted to suit the plagiarist's own agenda--but particular keywords, sentences, phrases, and emphases that the original writer wrote remain--then it is still plagiarism.  This is basic English and Writing 101 information, nothing new.

Thank you, Etsy, for fully supporting your sellers' intellectual property, completing this case in such a timely manner, and for trying to maintain a high standard of professionalism and integrity on your site.  However, please work on backing your long-time sellers in the long-run by protecting their copyright and intellectual property in all cases of plagiarism.  

Thank you too, to those who have supported me in this fight.  

This is a widespread issue, so please spread the word!

New Favorites


Lucky Bug Paper Co





To be frank, I'm not very good at maintaining new year's resolutions after a few short months, so this year, I resolve to delve deeper into my psyche and design organically from this unique perspective, instead of merely creating what sells.  The amazing designs above, which comprise some of my new Etsy favorites, all exhibit this organic, psyche-driven quality to various degrees: they are tactile, vibrant, and endlessly layered in terms of design.  A vulnerability can be seen in each of these creations--from a delicate curve of metal comprising a leaf, to the raw materials used.  It almost feels like their very core itself is also quite delicate, so tenuous a process of creation, that if you touch it, it will break apart and leave a penetrating vulnerability behind.  But as a whole, these aesthetically rich designs exude an immense, impenetrable depth in their breathtaking complexity and raw beauty.

The creative process of delving deep into vulnerability is what I aim to explore this year, and will document here.  A daunting task, this creative process of vulnerability will be deeply personal, although it is my hope that it will also be collectively relevant and accessible for a larger audience.  Ideas are currently in the works for this 2015 endeavor, so stay tuned.