Shannon Ashley

I blocked you 8 months ago because you were stealing my words and ideas. You blocked me back (despite recently claiming in an article that you never do that.)

Yesterday, you got busted plagiarizing other people’s words and ideas.

I doubt those were the only instances.

As they say, if you see one rat, there are 20 behind the wall.

Of course you feel bad. Plaigerism is illegal, it’s unethical, and it answers the question of how your churn out so much material.

I bet getting caught feels like shit.

And now you come on here begging for sympathy?

That’s gonna be a tough pill for a lot of people to swallow on the heels of bragging about how much money you make (for words that may or may not be yours) and then mobilizing an army to bully Jonathan Greene — who put his heart, soul, time, and energy into Medium — because he dared threaten your ego by removing you from his publication.

Trying to monetize sympathy for your plagiarism-guilt isn’t a good look.

Many of your readers are going to say I’m mean and awful and heartless and claim that I’m lying — because they didn’t see the story you posted and then removed after getting caught — and that’s all fine and well because, guess what? a.) I’ve got screenshots and b.) Honesty and integrity mean more to me than ego and engagement dollars.

You can join my ex-husband’s “AJ Kay is so mean!!!” FB Group. You’ll have a lot to talk about. He’s not a fan of honesty, either.

No, I’m telling you the truth because that’s what friends do. I’m not your friend, but it sounds like you need one right now so I’ll subject myself to the wrath of your tribe and step up.

Friends don’t cheerlead when you do shitty things. They say, “Hey! WTF, woman? Fix that. That’s not who you want to be.” They risk their own emotional comfort and expose themselves to criticism to help you grow.

So here’s my friendly advice:

Don’t plagiarize. Don’t make a public spectacle of taking down people who disagree with you to make yet another buck. Don’t lie about your piety just so you can write an article chastising other people for doing things you yourself do. Quit expecting your circumstances to insulate you from criticism.

Change things you don’t like about yourself.

Be honest.

You won’t make as much money. You won’t get as many sympathy claps. You won’t keep turning 10K per month, but if you keep going the way you are, that’s going to end sooner rather than later, anyway.

Align your behavior with what you claim are your values.

That’s how you’ll start feeling better.

Mama, writer, lover, fighter — I wear my heart on my sleeve because my pants pockets are too small. www.ajkaywriter.com

Mama, writer, lover, fighter — I wear my heart on my sleeve because my pants pockets are too small. www.ajkaywriter.com