Wants and Needs

What people want and people need
Are often very different things indeed!
–Russ Towne

Dear friends:

As a writer I sometimes get the nagging feeling that something I’ve just written and think of as my own creation might actually be something that is identical or materially similar to something I’d read or heard earlier. This is one of those times. I THINK I created it from scratch, but I do not wish to claim credit for something that isn’t mine.

I believe inadvertent plagiarism can happen to almost anyone. Even The Beatles once thought they had created a tune from scratch that turned out to be the music of someone else and was often being played on the radio at the time The Beatles wrote the identical tune.

Please let me know if you are aware that the poem or saying above—-or anything else that I think of as mine–should rightly be credited to someone else.

Thank you!


About russtowne

My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 4 young grandsons. I manage a wealth management firm I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of 23 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children. In addition to my family, friends, investing, and writing, my passions include reading, watching classic movies, experiencing waves crashing on rocky shores, hiking in ancient redwood forests, and enjoying our small redwood grove and fern garden.
This entry was posted in Words or Quotes I Believe I Coined but please let me know if you heard them earlier elsewhere and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Wants and Needs

  1. If one ever does it but not intentionally…then I don’t believe they are guilty of plagiarism..Who knows sometimes where we get thoughts or ideas from for even doing a blog…So I guess it’s good to be aware but I don’t think you have any worries…Diane

  2. jessicann831 says:

    I don’t believe I have ever heard nor seen that exact quote anywhere, so you are good to go, sir!

    As a writer myself, I often feel that way too. For awhile, that fear of stealing, however inadvertently, crippled me as a writer. I would often I wonder if this has been done before and/or is my subconscious just spitting out random shit from my lifetime of devouring books and movies.
    And than, I stumbled upon a great little internet meme/picture/ quote thingy that said to “steal” everything and anything to fuel your inspiration & muse. Steal as in soak up all the information that you possibly can, not blatant plagiarism. It’s hanging on my bulletin board at home or else, I write what it said verbatim because it helped me so much. Expect a 2nd comment from me in about three more hours! lol Happy New Year!

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you for your feedback and suggestion, Jessica. I plan to steal, err, incorporate the concept you mentioned! Welcome to my humble online home. May it feel like a safe and comfortable additional home to you.


  3. Professions for PEACE says:

    That is a great quote and I’ve never seen it before. But I’ve gotta tease you that the Rolling Stone’s song started playing in my head as soon as I read it! But they certainly don’t own the concept 😉 Your quote here contains worthy wisdom worth repeating.
    Cheers ~Gina

    • russtowne says:

      So, you’ve heard it in a Rolling Stones song? Dang… Good for them! I thought it was too good to not have been thought of and written by someone else earlier. I didn’t tend to listen to the Stones much, but perhaps just enough to pick up those lines.

      When I was a kid, I thought I’d come up with, “It’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.” To my surprise, diappointment, and chagrin, my dad enlightened me as to the fact that it wasn’t exactly an original thought or concept!

      P.S. I’ve given credit where credit is due in the quote above. Thank you for setting me straight!

      • Professions for PEACE says:

        Oh no.. dear Russ! They did not word it exactly your way which is why I say YOU should run with it, with a poem, a song, a poster or t-shirt!
        What Mick Jagger and the boys sang is, “You don’t always get what you want… (repeat 1x).. You get what you need!”
        So you see? It’s different. Same concept but truly different. Unlike the famous quote your dad set you straight on 😉
        Hugs, and firm encouragement to remove the credit to the Stones 🙂 It’s YOURS!
        Cheers, Gina

        • russtowne says:

          Ohhhhh… Thank you for the clarification. I have indeed heard that very popular song. And do see the difference between what they wrote and I did. Thank you, Gina!


  4. I journal a lot and will often write down things I have read. Usually I make a note in my journal as to the source – but sometimes I forget. Months later when I am composing my posts I look back for ideas from my journal. I sometimes find things quite deep and meaningful. Then I think, are these my original thoughts, are they summaries or adaptions of other people, or are they direct plagiarisms? Sometimes it is very hard to remember. I think we are all guilty of this sort of thing – unintentionally.
    Anyway, great quote if it is yours 🙂

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