Of all the things a writer writes in his life, the final details are arguably some of the most important...
Today I'm writing about something that none of us like to think about. The final details of a writer's life--the details that are critical they be left behind and spelled out clearly. I was inspired to do so by some recent sad events in my writing world.
In May, only weeks after I'd met her in person as she traveled through my part of the world, a writing friend died unexpectedly. While I read a wonderful memorial post written by a mutual author friend, the words really sunk in. There were unfinished projects.The mutual friend had been critting with and for her for quite some time. And not only was she grieving the loss of a wonderful friend, she was grieving the unfinished stories she'd been looking forward to seeing completed.
Two weeks later, my dear friend, editor, and crit partner died unexpectedly. He was an extremely private person. I believe I am the only person who has copies of his writing files. But now, this crazy-good book that was 2/3 finished will likely never see the light of day.
These horribly sad and unexpected deaths, and the unfinished projects left in their wake, compel me to consider intellectual property rights beyond my death.
My daughter knows--I've told her many times, that she will inherit all of my unpublished books, every manuscript and outline, every file of story ideas... But if I died tomorrow, no one would have passwords to retrieve these files, No one has passwords to my online sites such as this blog, or facebook, emails, or Twitter.
Knowing who will inherit our unfinished business isn't enough. Our survivors need access to the things we want them to have access to. The final details need to be shared.
Taking it a step further, designating in a legal will who inherits these things is something all writers should consider.
There's some general information at this site: Estate Planning for Intellectual Property Rights
Another good article (the first of a series on IP Estate planning) Writers in the Storm
On November 3, 2014, I ran across this article and am adding it to the list: What Happens to Your Data After You Die?
There. I've gone ahead and broached the subject. I've shared my personal sad experience over the last two months in spite of not wanting or liking to talk about it. But it had to be said. And as much as you, dear readers, don't like to think about it... please do.
Do you already have a plan in place?