Is it plagiarism if I do it to myself?


I’m on record (right here in this blog) saying I’ll keep to a strict daily blog for a minimum of the weekdays (there’s always the possibility of a bonus post over the weekend).  That’s a commitment I’m happy to keep and, while I have many topics that I can cover, another thought struck me during a recent “brainstorming” session.

Just about two years ago, I first dipped my virtual toe into the social networking pool by posting a big batch of pictures and starting a regular blog.  The blog was almost identical to this one (without the sales motivation).  It was a wandering stream of thoughts about life in general and my own life on many occasions.  The blog continued until this month, when I took it “private” in anticipation of doing almost all of my writing here.  The concept of trying to maintain two blogs simultaneously and come up with interesting dialog for each seemed unnecessary (as well as just too darn tough).

When I stopped, I had already written just short of 200 posts.  Some of these were only a couple paragraphs long, others were of this mind-numbing length I make you suffer through on this site.  It occurred to me that I could “re-use” some of those posts here.  This would be especially helpful on those days when I just couldn’t “bring it” or after realizing a new post I had just written simply stunk (I’m sure you would appreciate it on those days, too).

Except…would that be cheating?  I mean, most of you could care less since you never read the old blog, but some of those readers would have transferred over here and they would know.  And I would know.  Was this taking the easy way out?

Time for our usual digression:  I like the easy way out.  Anything that saves me time, effort or, well, no, that’s about all you can get.  Time and effort.  Usually, that’s going to cost you money, so you can’t ask for all three.  If you invest time and effort, you save money.  If you spend money, you can save time and effort.  It’s like a universal constant or something.  I’ll bet Stephen Hawking could explain it.  Just accept it.  I have occasionally invested the two in order to save the one.  It never seems to be the equal of the other ($?TE²…I’m good at math, not quantum physics, so don’t look to me for the proof of the formula).  So I’m okay with easy.

Now, I could simply take those posts and fashion posts similar to them and by adding context claim they were “new”.  That’s even cheesier than just plucking them straight from the old blog.  I could ignore the treasure trove of stories and just plot my own course in this blog.  The flaw in that plan is that I would eventually still get around to the same subjects and would just have made it harder on myself.  Harder is not easy, I think we can all agree on that one.

Right now, the decision isn’t imminent.  I’m still in a miasma of pointless ponderings and senseless postings.  As a backup plan, though, the idea still holds some appeal to me.  Especially since I often can hardly remember what I’ve written soon after writing it.  That could be the subject of another post sometime soon.  Give you a real look inside this whirling dervish of a mind.  I might have to warn away small children (or at least require a parent be nearby with access to the power cord).

I’ll probably end up not using the old posts, at least not word for word.  I have to think they’re worth a look, though, similar to researching subjects for the book.  I mean, gosh, 200 posts…that’s almost a year’s worth!  How easy would this blog be then?  If you’re actually reading these things a year from now, I’ve either sold a heck of a lot of books or I should at least be able to sell advertising on the website!  That would be a new theoretical marvel:  ½TE°= $.  I’d like to see Professor Hawking top that!

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