How do we stay creative in a world that’s ruled by laws?

15 Apr
Ruler, Writing, Rules, Kinley Baker, Romance Author, Author, Words, Cursive Writing

*insert something about slapping a ruler*

Lately I feel constrained by the construction of our society. On the one hand, advancement allows me to be addicted to my phone. On the other hand, there are so many rules we have to follow, I have a really hard time keeping up with all the quicksand.

With the digital world cracked wide open, we’re all running around the internet waving our hands and screaming, “YAY!!!”


As we should be doing. It’s amazing that we can connect to people we never would have known if now was twenty years ago.

But right now, I’m standing on the edge of a lot of decisions. Each direction I toe the line, I feel like I’m getting slapped back.

We’ve seen the trouble with the internet. Lawsuits are running rampant. I admit that I struggle with fear when I read these frightening articles and posts.

I know we can’t take images that aren’t our own and post them anywhere. I just wish it was easier to tell which images are okay, and which are protected.

I wish it was easier to learn how to publish safely and how to mitigate our risk.

I see so much risk in this business.

I’d love to hear about your resources and suggestions.

I wish it was as simple as flagging something. “Hey, this is free content!”…“Hey, this is NOT free content!”

I’m not a rule breaker by nature and I have no inclination to deviate from my current path. But I wish it was easier to figure out the rules.

Yes, trial-and-error works. But I’m also kind of a perfectionist, so I’d really rather avoid the mistakes before they happen. Unfortunately some things can only be learned the hard way, and I’ve gone through challenges I wouldn’t understand if I hadn’t lived through them.

With some basic things like sharing content, though, there has to be a better way.

I have so many stories to tell, but I fear telling them.

I can’t be alone in this… Or has my paranoia reached new levels of ridiculousness?

Stranger things have happened.

-Kinley Baker


7 Responses to “How do we stay creative in a world that’s ruled by laws?”

  1. Joni Hahn aka Sophie Greyson April 16, 2013 at 12:41 am #

    I am so with you on this, Kinley! I don’t want to steal from anyone, anymore than I want someone to steal from me. But, I wish there were clear cut rules, too. Every time I write a blog its “can I say that?” “should I say that?” “Surely, they would be okay with me using that video… oops, nevermind.” “I just won’t use any pics” Then it looks dull. Big, internet billboards that say yes or no would be nice.

    • Kinley Baker April 24, 2013 at 1:56 am #

      All I’m asking for is a big billboard that tells me what to do. 😀 Is that too much to ask for?

  2. Diana Beebe April 17, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    Kinley, I know what you mean! I went to a social media seminar a few years ago where an attorney gave the best advice: If you aren’t sure, don’t use it. You can include a direct link to something anytime though.

    I try to use my own pictures and the ones that are marked in WANA Commons on Flickr and other “commons” places where the image is public domain or clearly marked as something that can be used with attribution.

    Better to be safe, right?

    • Kinley Baker April 24, 2013 at 1:58 am #

      Yes, that’s great advice, Diana. I still wish I knew solid, concrete rules, but at this point I’m not sure there are any. It’s all trial and error it seems.

      I love the idea of commons where the material is uploaded by the person who took the picture and they give the okay to post.

  3. Lynn Kelley April 19, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

    I figure if it’s on YouTube, it’s okay to post on my blog, and I’m so glad Kristen started WANA Commons so we can use those pics without worrying. Finding pics for my posts can be very time consuming, but I like to use as many pics as I can.

    • Kinley Baker April 24, 2013 at 1:59 am #

      I agree, Lynn. I like to take my own pictures because then I know for sure they are okay to use, but that also means they aren’t as professional. I love blogs with pictures.

  4. L E Carmichael April 25, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    I share your fear of the internet, Kinley. There are so many examples of people doing something in innocence and getting smacked down for it. Like crossing the street, I think it comes down to paying attention, being smart, and hoping for the best!

    By the way, if you see a perfect image on a site that posts contact information, you can always email and ask if you can use it. I found pictures for a textbook doing just that. You still have to be careful that the person giving permission is authorized to do so, but that’s usually easy to figure out.

    Worse comes to worse, just do what Diana said – link!

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