In another post, found at Laura Spencer’s blog, the discussion on ethics in freelance continues… For those of you not aware, there have been a number of blogs posted lately debating the ethics of ghostwriting.
I did drop a rough response at Lillie Ammann’s Blog on the subject, but thought a fuller post detailing my answers to some really profound questions posed by Ms. Spencer would be a great springboard for discussion. For those of you interested, both Laura Spencer and Lillie Ammann included thoughtful insights into the topic as well as a host of excellent links to follow for other writer’s opinions. Here are my answers:
1. Would you completely write a book, play, or other creative work and allow someone else to have the credit?
Most definitely not!!! But that’s not to say that I consider it unethical, I’m not judging anyone else’s mode of writing – for me, fiction is out as far as ghost writing is concerned.
2. Would you write a blog and allow someone else to claim it as their own?
Yes. Not all business owners can write well or capture an audience, but blogs are a fantastic way to keep constantly updated information on your website and to build a community feel for your business. I don’t see anything wrong with hiring a ghost blogger to update company blogs on a regular basis.
3. Would you use a pen name or pseudonym?
Yes – actually, my byline for fiction is my maiden name, which for me is more my own than my married name and I prefer to keep it that way… I use my legal name for non fiction, freelance, and this blog as a matter of fact – as well as editing.
I don’t see anything wrong with a pen name, and am not quite sure how it made it into the topic of writing ethics – many authors have multiple facets of interest and they may not want their primary writing to cross over to their side or hobby work… say a children’s author with a pension for erotica – you can see how the pseudonym might come in handy there.
4. Would you write a nonfiction piece and allow someone (or something as in the case of a company) to have the credit?
Yes, and I have done this type of ghost writing. There are certain instances where this may border on ethic dilemma, but that’s up to the writer to study and decide.
5. Would you write someone’s term paper for them?
NO! NO! NO! Anyone who writes a student’s work, thesis, anything along these lines, is as much of a cheating lowlife as the student who hired them… This is a huge pet peeve with me – but let me just clarify, in case some ‘writer’ who’s done this stumbles upon my blog – You are not a writer if you take this kind of work – you are a dishonest moron enabling a new generation to miss out on their education and infiltrate the world with mediocrity.
I’ve actually covered the ethics of cheating college students and the idiots who enable them in multiple posts at my old blog, Merryone Those posts will probably be moved here eventually, as I clean out the old blog of the extraneous and move the better nuggets here.
I would like to take the time to invite any writer, freelancer, or reader to respond to the above questions, or simply post their own take on ethics in writing on their respective blogs. Drop a link here so that I can find you – or drop a comment to more fully discuss.