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Monday, April 16, 2007

Ghostwriting Ethics

Here's another find from Mom and More, a discussion of ethics and ghostwriting. Here are my responses to the questions:

1. Would you completely write a book, play, or other creative work and allow someone else to have the credit?

This is a tough one. As a ghostwriter, I might be asked to do this and I suppose it's part of my job, so if I agreed to do it I would. However, if I could write a successful fiction piece I would be tempted to write it myself and take the credit.

2. Would you write a blog and allow someone else to claim it as their own?

Yes, I do that all the time. I ghost blog for several people and that's part of what pays my bills. However, I have several blogs under my own name (or recognisable pseudonyms) so I don't feel cheated. I think sometimes people need help with writing and that's what they get from me.

3. Would you use a pen name or pseudonym?

Yes, I would, but I haven't chosen one yet. I do have a couple of internet identities, though.

4. Would you write a nonfiction piece and allow someone (or something as in the case of a company) to have the credit?

That's another ghostwriting one. It's my job, so that's what I do. If I could give the same dedication to my own writing, I would already have finished a couple of novels.

5. Would you write someone’s term paper for them?

Absolutely not! As a former lecturer this makes my blood boil and I won't be a party to anything that smacks of plagiarism.


Dana Prince said...

I'm of similar mindset on all these issues.

It's important to pay the bills and as professionals, people sometimes want our services anonymously so it makes them appear more professional. I always err on the side of morals though. I don't want to do any black hat seo work or anything unethical but I am ok with writing for search engines.

I love the new look/feel of your blog here and love the new blog name ;)

(How'd you get that tag cloud? I want one!!)

BloggingWriter said...

Thanks, Dana. I try to make sure I can sleep at night :)

Here's how you can get a tag cloud. It is really easy to do.

I thought I should dress the blog up a bit if I'm going to use it properly, so I have done all the usual things (Feedburner, Technorati, blog submission).


Merry Jelinek said...

Hi Sharon,
We're pretty much on the same page entirely - except the fiction ghosting, but like I said, that's a personal preference. I wouldn't ghost fiction because I aim to write it myself.. plus, honestly, it annoys me when people who can't write want to be writers.. From my perspective, why would you want to have a novel with your name on it without writing it? I don't think the practice is unethical, I just wouldn't be able to do it myself.

Anyway, thanks for joining in.