The Ethics of Being a Good Writer
by Holly McCarthy, guest blogger
There are various aspects to being a writer, and you wouldn’t think ethics played any kind of role in any of them, but it’s a major part of any good writer’s repertoire. Besides the fact that you’re a master story teller who can weave magic with words and create the most interesting characters, you also need to have basic moral values if you need to be able to take pride in yourself and your work. Ethics may not contribute to making your book a bestseller, but they sure do matter when it comes to making a better person out of you.
Plagiarism is an absolute no-no: There’s no use in copying someone else’s work or idea and passing it off as your own. For one, you’re likely to face legal action; and for another, you’re not being true to yourself. Think about it – if you steal one idea or plot, you’re likely to keep doing so all through your extremely short career (believe me, it is going to be short if you’re short on originality).
According credit where it’s due takes you a long way: As a writer, you’re bound to be indebted to people who help you in your research, your ground work, and in many other aspects. And if you’re not going to acknowledge their efforts in making you who you are today, you’re making a big ethical mistake.
Don’t get ahead at the cost of someone else: If you have to push someone over and step on them to become a success, that success is definitely not worth it. It may not mean as much as it should because you’re bound to feel guilty about using underhand tactics to get what you wanted.
Meet deadlines: When you’re a writer, deadlines are a large part of your schedule; you’re always scrambling to meet them no matter how much time you think you have left. Make sure you honor your commitments, no matter how sought-after you are, because a man of his word is a man of good faith.
Remain humble: No matter how big a success you become, remember your humble beginnings and stay true to them. If you let victory go to your head, you’re in danger of losing sense of who you really are and believing the hype that’s built up about you.
Holly McCarthy writes on the subject of the online colleges. She invites your feedback at hollymccarthy12 at gmail dot com