Plagiarism and shame

2020-05-29

I had an idea yesterday. It popped into my head out of nowhere and made me laugh out loud. I was so pleased with it I wrote it down.

Half an hour later I realized I’d stolen it from something I’d seen before, and that completely ruined it for me. I was so ashamed I burned the paper I’d written it down on. My internal censor laid down the law hard and wouldn’t be reasoned with.

Obviously this is a silly thing to feel ashamed about. The real question is: will I abandon the idea? It’d be simple enough to tweak it to be different. But will I? Or will I let the shame overwhelm my enthusiasm and kill the idea?

What would you do?