I have gone through a rough 4 months. I went off grid because everything just piled up on me and I actually spent some time in the psychiatric ward. I am back, trying to resume my writing. I left during a series I was writing for Ronovan’s Friday prompts. I don’t even know if it ended at a good spot or if it needs finishing, but it just isn’t in me at the time. So I am using the recommended prompt separately at this time.
by Teresa Smeigh
May 20, 2016
I pride myself in my writing. It is one thing that I can do well despite or because of my mental illness. I write stories and poems. I write articles and had some published even.
I was always a good writer, all through school even. My research papers got me straight “A”s. I worked hard on them and through hard work made them perfect before I was ready to submit it to the teacher.
Last year I was offered the opportunity to write for a bipolar blog. My articles were being published.
Some of them I just wrote from my memories and feelings that I was living through with my bipolar. Others needed research.
I couldn’t decide how I wanted to do the research. Doing it like I would a research paper seemed outdated. I finally just settled on copying all the research at the bottom of the page I was writing the article on. I didn’t have to keep bouncing back and forth from website to website. It was all right there. No note cards to deal with either.
This way seemed to work so I continued it that way. I couldn’t sleep at night and ended up doing a lot of my writing then and after taking my psychiatric medications and sedatives.
Imagine my surprise when they stopped publishing my articles and didn’t reply to my emails. I had given up on them and quit worrying about the fact I needed to write an article a month.
Last night I got an email. They explained they had a delicate matter and they didn’t know what to do about it and wanted my thoughts.
It seems one of my articles had to be pulled off the site because they found a couple of paragraphs of plagiarism in the article. They sent me my file back and the URL of the other article.
It didn’t look like my work or my style of writing. I didn’t remember it. I even pulled my version that was saved and checked it. It was what I sent.
I am as honest as they come and the thought of plagiarism certainly never crossed my mind and like I said that just wasn’t something I would write.
I told them, first I was sorry it happened and hope they had no repercussions from the incident. I told them it wasn’t the way I write either. Not my style. I would back off graciously if they decide to drop me. I can’t deny what was in front of me.
The only thing I can figure out is that I was writing it while drugged up and pulled the research at the bottom up and into the article before sending. I reread so many times to proofread it doesn’t seem possible that I wouldn’t catch that, but it happened. I am also suffering from mental impairment, which has gotten worse. Drugs don’t help.
I never expected to be using plagiarism in a prompt for caught, but I don’t do much that is wrong. I know right from wrong, but this just happened when the prompt was announced.
It is making me feel bad, living on tenterhooks as to the repercussion I might suffer and paranoid as all get out when it comes to writing again. This is my words, no plagiarism here and who would own up to having somehow managed to doing it?
Whether intentional or not, even the best of us can get caught. I need a new writing style for researched articles that is for sure.