Plagiarism in Self Help

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Self help recipes on various blogs and websites are often repetitive. Anyone who has been exposed to self help/personal growth principles would be aware of basic concepts like self love, empathy, karma etc. Then, are different blogs saying different things? And, do they even need to?

  1. Propagating these ideas– having more and more information available about the same thing makes it enter the mainstream more quickly. Playing a role in that means contributing which is a great feeling. Different news channels report often the same current affairs. But they still run the business because they are sending news out there into the world that people want to know about. The repetition is making the news enter the mainstream. Similarly, self help writers won’t run out of business because there would be someone out there for whom these ideas and principles are new. I believe that most self help writers genuinely care about other people’s personal growth and not just money, hence keep marketing these basic life principles, so they reach as many people.
  2. Enjoying self affirmation of beliefs as a reason to create more content. When people in self help write about these things, they’re often also doing it to reaffirm their own life philosophy of living big, making a change and manifesting their own desires. They are using their blogs as a means to help themselves achieve their own personal goals.
  3. Dealing with specifics– context, background (socio-economic, age), nuance, application of the same concept in different situations are important factors since everyone has unique problems. For example, the concept of self love can be talked about in different contexts and applied differently, like from the perspective of an individual belonging to a minority group facing issues in their romantic life or a young student trying to make it in a big city. It can get as specific as possible and that is why, no one’s story is unimportant or irrelevant. This is also why, before writing one’s recipe or solution to a given problem, one must always write about their past situation  and what they went through in detail.

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