Writing Tips by Gary Speer

Tips for writers, musing about writing and life

Killing a writing project can be like murdering an old friend

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I love reading and writing about the “Old West,” that part of American history related to westward expansion, settlement, and “rip roarin'” cowboys and the whole works. You’ll remember from some earlier posts on this site that I’ve even been working (irregularly) on some “Western” novels.

Just a few minutes ago, I had to kill a major writing project related to the Old West — and I feel a little like I murdered an old friend.

Almost exactly a year ago I purchased the domain name talesoftheoldwest.com. I had high hopes and dreams of creating a blog that would share snippets of colorful Western history, as well as showcase Western fiction. In keeping with the domain name, the obvious title of that blog was “Tales of the Old West.” I even had the software set up, a nice Western related blog theme in place, and a few posts made.

Then, just out of curiosity, I Googled “Tales of the Old West” in Google’s new blog search tool. I discovered there was a blog with a different domain but the exact same site name, “Tales of the Old West,” which offers podcasts of folksy stories and colorful excerpts of Western history. The name and the fundamental approach was exactly like MINE — uh, except this guy started his and has been developing posts and podcasts on the site since 2006.

Alas, should my project go big-time, it would only be a matter of time before the creator of the earlier, very similar blog would find out. In which case, he would be justified in smacking me with a lawsuit or threat thereof, I suspect.

Being very cowardly about potential legal threats, and since I was still in the planning and development stages on the back-burner project, I knew the best thing was to kill the project. Even if I had renamed the site, given the domain name identical with this fellow’s website name — well, it wouldn’t be worth all the hassle and possibly losing legal battles.

So, I’m headed back to the drawing board, or at least back to Google to do some serious searches. I’d still love to keep the fundamental premise of the project, only this time I need to be sure the domain and site name are very far away from what someone else is already doing.

Who know there was still such a market for Western history??
[tags]writing projects, publishing laws and options, blogging, writing tips at garyspeer.com[/tags]

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