Jonathan Bailey writes:
In short, Bello, an author who admitted to plagiarizing in her now-cancelled debut novel, wrote an article about the experience and, in that article, included poor paraphrasing without attribution of an article that I wrote over a decade ago.
It’s a moment that even 16 years of work in this field did not prepare me for. To be honest, even as I write this, I am still confused trying to figure out how to approach this both intellectually and emotionally.
In short, Bello has, by her own description, a deeply flawed writing process. One that makes plagiarism not only likely, but inevitable. However, her writing process wasn’t the focus essay. Instead, the essay focuses heavily on the struggles of her over the year she worked on the book. Those struggles included attending graduate school, dealing with pressures from the publishing industry and, most importantly and prominently, her mental health issues.
As someone with severe mental health issues, I can relate and sympathize. Though I would never seek to compare my experience with mental health to hers or anyone else, I can definitely understand the struggles of trying to complete Herculean tasks while also struggling with one’s own mind.
But the issue with her plagiarism isn’t her mental health. It’s how she writes. An author should never paste the works of another into their paper without immediately citing it. Notes need to be kept in a separate location. Furthermore, citation should never be left for the editing process and, instead, be part of the original writing process.
If Bello had done that, her pressures and issues may have hampered the book, but would never have led to plagiarism.
However, it’s pretty clear that this is simply how she writes.