Reprints, Exclusivity and mixed emotions

I am struggling with conflicted feelings-mixed emotions over my column that ran in yesterday’s Post and Courier and need to blog about it. I was thrilled to see my column published in the new section called, Moxie” of my local paper. It is an essay based on a column I wrote for Literary Mama, and when I asked the paper to credit LM, they refused. I did not fight it because I believe that my column, “Disease Doesn’t Define Life” (700 words) is different from the original, “Swimming with my Clothes on” (1250 words, published in May 2008). Both essays are about my struggle to deal with diabetes as a woman and mother. However, my editor at LM thinks that the Post and Courier should correct their mistake and credit LM.

This is where I feel caught and conflicted. I feel like I’m finally getting going with my writing career-making progress and getting published-and I don’t want any mistakes to screw it up! I would love the opportunity to write on a regular basis for Moxie and so I don’t want to contact them and have them think I’m a pain to deal with, but I also don’t want to do damage to my relationship with LM……I didn’t receive payment for either column. I did sign a contract with LM about acknowledge them if the essay was printed elsewhere. But I think it’s basically, a different essay.

I’m caught because I’ve received wonderful feedback from people who have read the article and I am struggling to enjoy it with this hanging over my head. If anyone has any advice, please let me know. I guess what I’ve learned is that it is better to write a completely new essay than pull from one already published online. But I also feel like this essay is a foundation story-it’s like my children’s birth stories-and I wonder if I could write it any other way? It’s a story I want to share because I believe it will help other women with diabetes and not being able to share this story feels like being held down.

I’m frustrated and torn and hate conflict, especially when I am the cause. Part of me wishes I never said a thing to LM about the column in Moxie and part of me wishes I’d written something completley different to begin with…….

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