Every writer has only one rule to follow. And, no, the rule is not grammar, sentence structure…nor capitalization. If Charles Dickens and Shakespeare could bend these without spontaneously combusting, so can I.

My only duty as a writer is to write my own work, and no one else’s. Easy, you say. Not so. There will be times when words I have laid down like stepping stones seem to lead to nowhere, and I wrestle the temptationto reword a quote or idea from someone else’s work to pave my way. Though I may lead my story to the desired destination through this technique, my readers will be bored with the trip.

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You see, when readers escape into literature, it is not to be told the same story over and over, laced with more compelling synonyms and reversing sentence structures to feign originality! Lazy! No writer ever made it big though shortcuts and flirting with plagiarism. Stories should be a hike into the unknown, and as the trail must bend and slope for the reader, it must also do at least as much for the writer who clears the way. Do I want to be the yawp, or its echo? A shout in the void is surely better than a whisper in the noise; I can’t be afraid to make my ideas known – even if there is no apparent audience dying to listen. There is a better strategy than ‘copy’ and ‘paste’. If not, I may as well change that to my legal name.

So, as a writer, I must choose; will I be authentic? Or shall I believe so little in myself that I lose some other author’s established point in my own irrelevant translation?