Like any blog or website, it’s vulnerable to attack. Malicious viruses that have one purpose and one purpose only destroy everything.
In 2016, this blog was in full swing. A newbie on the scene, I wanted to be heard and heard not because I was a showoff or an attention seeker, but someone who had a message to share. And that message was hope. Little did I know at the time, hope was what I was going to need the most.
With writing as my conduit for communication, I wanted to inspire people, be a voice of confidence, strength and faith.
It didn’t take long until my message was found, and in that same sense, I found myself. Soon enough, I couldn’t write the pieces fast enough, and by the time they were published, most articles had been republished, re-written and shared thousand times more quickly than I could promote them. You might be thinking, well, that’s great!
Yes and no. When I started writing, it was never for money. It was about doing what I love to do. But when others take your work without asking for monetary gain. That’s when I have a problem.
Envy started to grow in me, and I became angry like a teenager whose older brother snooped through her journal, copied her ideas, thoughts and told everybody about it, passing it along like a juicy gossip note. Or someone who copied your exam answers because they knew you got the marks they needed and handed it to the professor first.
In other words, it didn’t take long until I realized that the chance of making a decent living at writing was slim to none. Financially, I had yet to see much return from my endeavours.
Nevertheless, I kept the faith and each day, I told myself, “just be happy that others appreciate your work!” and I was. Somedays, however, the latter was a far climb.
And then it happened.
A blog that was once thriving had been wiped clean and every piece of work on it. Every article that I had poured my heart and soul into was gone. It was the malicious attack that all of these web developers try to help you prepare for and needless to say, the site was finito.
In desperation, I did everything I could to get the site, the work, and everything back, but it was to no avail. It was all gone, and I was left in shock staring at a blank screen.
For two years, I laid idle, awestruck, and in turmoil, all of the work was gone, and it was painstaking. I began to fall into a bout of hopelessness. Without inspiration, faith, or any idea of how to restart or rebuild.
If this had been 100 years ago, it would be the equivalent of someone taking your journal and throwing it into an incinerator, and worst of all, it felt like there was nothing I could do about it.
As 2019 rounded the corner, every morning I pulled my miserable self out of bed, made coffee and pretended to put a smile on my face, usually, it would just come out as half-hearted, bitter, disappointed and deeply hurt. I had a sorry attitude and couldn’t seem to shake it off.
As spring began, I finally got the courage to give it another shot.
Staring at a blank slate I didn’t know where to start, but I was determined to get everything back. Even If I had to re-write every piece, that’s what I was willing to do. I started re-writing a few articles, but the spark was gone.
So instead, with tenacity, fierceness and pride of ownership, I tracked down every website and blog that had copied or republished my articles. I started slapping copyright and do not republish on every single one. At first, I found a few, and then a few more and I, when I plugged a few catchphrases into the search engines. That’s when the bottom fell out.
As I read through the old work that I began to recover and reclaim, something happened that I didn’t expect.
Tears began to run down my cheeks. My anger turned to relief, my frustration to gladness and my pride of ownership to gratitude. There they all were.
“My every disgruntled, mumbled under my breath complaint about other people using my work.
Every article came back to me and I was enveloped with joy, newfound hope, faith, and inspiration.
It took me three years to come to this realization from the time the site shut down to the day I restarted. Three years, to realize that maybe just maybe, this all happened for a reason.
You see, I had forgotten what was truly important.
The articles came floating back to me like flowers, pieces of what I had thought were lost and gone with the wind.
Held together by friends I didn’t know I had.
Those awful, terrible, incredibly beautiful people who had found value in the words I had written. Pieces of of masterpiece, whether it was or wasn’t one, thank you. Without you, I would have nothing.
Mona Lisa Smile. .And upgrade your antivirus!