A Writer’s Guide to Etiquette IRL


Eavesdropping on conversations at restaurants or cafes is encouraged; just don’t get caught.

If a story you are interested in writing is based on real life, always ask the person’s permission before writing their story and try to get that permission in writing. Don’t write anything libelous or defamatory. (Look those terms up if you don’t know what they mean.)

If you have an interview with a source for an article you are writing on a topic you are very interested in, whether you are a student, author or journalist, dress the part. This is business, even if it is mixed with pleasure.

When writing non-fiction novels about family members, remember that they are people too and it is best to conceal them as the opposite sex and twenty to one-hundred years older or younger than they are and preferably have them living in another country or province than you. An easier idea; write a fiction novel and create characters that are based on your imagination instead of people from real life.

If you are a memoir writer, I’m open to tips on writing memoirs, drop me a line.

When writing about subjects you know nothing about, do your homework. Accuracy in print and online is imperative to your reputation as a writer or journalist.

If it’s a topic that has been written before, you can write about it too but from your perspective and based on your creative genius or muse. Plagiarists are not artists, they are thieves from the underworld of the writing industry.

If you are going on a date with your significant other, leave the notepad or recorder at home. (The laptop and possibly the camera too.) This is harder to do IRL but reading it makes it sound easy. Just an FYI. Choosing an activity that will occupy both your mind and your hands (for those who have an impulse to talk while typing) helps.

If you are tired of reading about the etiquette of writing, why the hell aren’t you writing already? I’m tired of being polite. No, I’m not. You guys are the best. Thanks for reading my sh$t.


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