Writing with Integrity

by Deborah Owen, CEO of Creative Writing Institute

Psalm 26:11 – But as for me, I will walk in my integrity…

I read that verse today and it touched my heart. I had to do some soul-searching.

There are all kinds of writers. I don’t mean good and bad ones. I mean honest and dishonest. Are you willing to take whatever comes your way?

Editing, for instance. If the book is full of filthy words, words that you wouldn’t dream of saying – will you edit it? Personally, I have enough trouble with my thoughts without feeding the beast – and the same goes for what I read, watch on TV, or write.

Did you know a lot of unethical work is floating around? The question is, are you willing to do it? If you’re just getting grounded in writing, I encourage you to define your ethics now and live by them.

In my last blog, I talked about a company who wanted me to advertise their illicit business of selling term papers to college students in a jam. It would have been so easy to look the other way, run the bloomin’ ad and sit back and collect the money – and for about one second, I was tempted, but I realized I would be a willing part of their dishonest endeavor.

Think about those who write that material – and the company selling it – and the dishonest students who buy it. Lies, lies, and more lies. Deceit that spins hundreds of thousands of greenbacks like Hurricane Florence. Beau-ti-ful green stuff to roll in. Or just pretend it’s salad and lace it with vinaigrette! But no. I couldn’t escape that little word – integrity. There are many kinds of writing deceit.

My inexperienced friend accepted a job that called for dozens of articles to be written as reviews, signed with various names and titled with various locations. She fell into the trap because the company was not upfront [but later, declined more assignments]. Question: have you ever read fantastic reviews, ordered the product, and it didn’t arrive or was pure junk? But what about those astounding reviews? Now you know where they originated.  (So, how can you know when reviews are genuine? They are probably genuine when mixed with others not so favorable.)

So here is the question: would you write false reviews? Would you write theses for cheating students? Would you accept dishonest work? Would you edit objectionable language you wouldn’t dream of speaking? Would you write porn, romance, or erotica that pulls ravenous minds and abusers of mankind into dark, secret places?

Where and how do you draw the line? Rate and comment below. I look forward to seeing your thoughts on the subject.

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