Positive Writers' Ethics Project
The owner of the Writers SuperCenter is also the creator of a project called "The Declaration of the Positive Writer." This is especially for people who want to discuss, learn about, and promote ethical writing.
Too many people believe that creative pursuits, such as writing in particular, should not be bound by the constraints of ethical considerations, and that the creative imagination must not just be free but totally free, in every sense of the word. I disagree, and for that reason I'm inviting people to help us design a writer's creed that we refer to as "The Declaration of the Positive Writer." A rough draft of this declaration is presented here.
Preface to the Declaration of the Positive Writer
All around us, every day, in every corner of our lives, every corner of our world, we are being influenced. It may be an influence to do good or to do bad, an influence that inspires us or an influence that depresses us, an influence that lifts our spirit and drives us to reach for our loftiest goals or an influence that keeps us in complacency and lethargy. With that realization, I decided to create this project and establish an area on this website where writers and others can discuss, teach, advocate for, and inspire ethical writing. This is my way of helping to thwart the all-too-often negative influences that media usually present us in every corner of our lives.
The following is my "Positive Writer Declaration," a declaration that all writers (especially fiction writers, screenwriters, etc.) can use to remind themselves and direct themselves to write "positively," in all the moral and inspirational senses of that word. It is based on the simple, yet powerful, notion that we are all made better when we increase our awareness of the potential effects (good and bad) of whatever we are creating (especially what we write) and act (write) as though we are responsible for whatever effects actually occur.
"The Declaration of the Positive Writer" is a work in progress that I originally introduced on a website devoted to codes of ethics on June 18, 2006. I need you, the readers, to tell me what you think of it, how it can be improved, what you think should be changed or added.
So read the draft of the Declaration (below) and send us your comments — any thoughts you have on ethical writing and, in particular, on the wording and philosophy of this Declaration. Just use our online Contact Form to send us the comments, and we'll place your comments in our Comments Section. (Of course, if you prefer that the comment be kept private, just let us know.)
We need your ideas for improving the wording of the Declaration. Let's brainstorm together on this valuable project! And please feel free to use the declaration in your personal life and to post it on your websites so that our message will be spread throughout the web!
THE DECLARATION OF THE POSITIVE WRITER
Whereas I am aware of the power to influence that I hold in my stories;
And whereas I am aware of the ease and swiftness with which stories, in this massive media age, can be seen and read and repeated by many people and imitated and reinterpreted by fellow writers;
Whereas the topics on which I write and which I am interested in writing are those which have come to my attention through the experiences I've had, the people I've met, and the stories and information that I have absorbed;
And whereas the stories I write may affect my own attitudes (as well as the attitudes of all who read those stories);
And whereas I possess a special opportunity - through my stories - to influence many more people than merely those whom I meet personally day-to-day;
And whereas I, as a writer, influence the styles and ideas of other writers;
And whereas I, like most everyone else, influence others every day of my life merely by my day-to-day examples, attitudes, actions, etc.;
And whereas positive experiences and information tend to build me up - uplift me - and to influence/affect my actions, which in turn affect those around me, often in positive ways - while negative experiences and information tend to bring me down and handicap me and fog my thinking and my attitudes as well as to influence/affect my actions, which can in turn affect those around me in negative ways;
I therefore affirm that it is important to seek out positive experiences in all my activities, both those directly related to my writing education as well as my daily life, from the books I read and movies and tv shows I view to the people I associate with and the general experiences I seek out, in order to gradually direct myself to more and more positive experiences and influences, which will pervade more and more of my actions, including my writing and the topics I choose to write about and the approach I use towards those topics.
[If you wish to reprint or adapt this, please include the following:]
This Declaration is based originally on the creative work of Irwin Berent of the Writers SuperCenter (www.WritersSuperCenter.com), and may freely be used by others by including this acknowledgement.