Freelance writers all have a different method of working that suits them. Many write best during the evening hours, while others need set, structured office hours starting early each morning. Some freelance writers gain their inspiration from real life experiences that they have gone through and then pass on their knowledge on a particular area of expertise such as medical, immigration or relationship issues. However, should freelance writers reference family members in their work?
Keep Family Relationships and Names Anonymous
If you decide to reference family member in an article, make sure to keep family relationship anonymous. It is also preferable to keep the family name vague, so that no one reading the finished product could ever pinpoint the person that is being referred to in the article.
In reality, that means if you are writing about whether to reconcile with a cheating spouse, you should not turn the article into a personal rant on how you disapprove of your cousin Emma’s decision for taking Bill back for the third time. Instead, use tact and diplomacy, keeping names and the family relationship anonymous.
How Would Family Members Feel Reading About Themselves?
Even if your family members are not your biggest fans keeping a keen eye out for your latest published works, consider how they would feel if they read about themselves in one of your articles. Will they immediately see themselves as the main protagonist along with half a dozen other characters? If so, have you painted them in a good light? How will they feel if you have disclosed information that was confided to you privately?
Always Exercise Tact
As a freelance writer, you will be held accountable for the work that you produce. It is important to work hard not to infringe upon the rights of others and to exercise tact at all times. If you do reference family members in your work, keep family names and relationships anonymous. You can even go a step further by avoiding all mention of family members altogether in your work, especially if they strongly object to being used as “article fodder” to write about.
As a freelance writer, you should carefully consider the experiences that you share in your work. If you are referencing family members, consider keeping their names and family relationship anonymous and always think of how they would feel reading about themselves. Finally, always exercise tact in your work if you are including a family member’s experience.