"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Charlie Sheen's Shenanigans!

Lessons on Career Damage Control for Writers
(courtesy of Charlie Sheen)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you’ve heard of the shenanigans, fights, and “fall from grace” of popular comedian and actor, Charlie Sheen.

From his unconventional lifestyle and fast-lane living, to his unorthodox ways of handling his career and his cuties, it seems that he’s been covered everywhere as of late.

And make no mistake about it: I am a big fan. Like millions of other American viewers, I watched his popular sitcom, “Two and a Half Men” weekly,
religiously--for years, in fact.

But contrary to the saying, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity,” his career is proof positive that too much of a good thing can be bad.

So what does this have to do with writing and making money?
I’ll tell you.
In a very similar sense we are “performers” too.
As such, it’s all about career management, being in the “public eye”, and protecting our bottom line.

Here are a few pointers to help put this in proper perspective and help you to earn and maintain a profitable living:

1. Showing your __$$ in public can compromise your assets. Sheen shot himself in the foot via interviews and public statements. Sometimes with writers it comes in the form of belittling editors on a blog. Or engaging in battles with publishers or other creative artists in public social media forums like Twitter or Facebook. Either way it can be career suicide. Sheen went from “black tie affairs” to being black balled. Don’t let it happen to you.

2. Humor isn’t always universal. Use it sparingly and in good taste. For example, noted pastor and best-selling author, Joel Osteen, begins his weekly sermons with a joke. It has become part of his branding and his popularity. It works if you work it right!

3. Never bite the hand that feeds you. For writers this means being professional with publishers and being accountable to our readers and people who purchase our products. Don’t cheat them by giving less than your best.

4. Recognize that even “divas” can be dismissed! Even though Charlie was no doubt a huge money-maker for the network that employed him, he perhaps thought that he was indispensable, as evidenced by his words and actions. Bad move. Be careful not to be more trouble than you’re worth.

5. When you make a mistake, own up to it, ask forgiveness, then move forward. It happens to the best of us. You misspell an editor’s name. Or you get a fact wrong in an interview, or your simultaneous submission gets accepted by two different editors simultaneously. Ouch. Fess up and find a way to prevent your faux pas from happening again.

6. Controversy sells, but balance is crucial. In fact, too much can peg you as a bitter grape, a loose cannon, or a creative who’s out of control. Keep this in mind as you create content and craft your career.

Follow these six sage tips to protect your bottom line and to enjoy encore performances with publishers and fans.

What say you?

Article first published as Career Damage Control: Lessons for Writers and Entrepreneurs, Courtesy of Charlie Sheen on Technorati.


  1. All good points, but ...

    But the obvious question that begs to be answered is - does this person need professional help? If the answer is yes, I hope the people close to him step forward and make that happen.

  2. Jennifer Brown BanksMarch 27, 2011 at 2:37 PM


    That's a good question; I would tend to agree that he probably needs a good support system behind him either way.


  3. Hi Jennifer! Yes, I watched "2 and a half Men" and I have also watched the sheenanigans! And I always find these kind of battles interesting. One, the ego of Mr. Sheen and how bad his old job needs him back. Maybe it's true, but it doesn't seem they would really enjoy working with someone who talks to them or about them that way. Also, I don't think most viewers will view the show the same if he returns. I think it's over. :)

  4. Jennifer Brown BanksMarch 28, 2011 at 4:44 AM


    Welcome! Thanks for your thoughts. You may just be right. We'll "stay tuned" to find out. :-)

  5. I agree! Good points, all. It's a shame how we can learn how NOT to live from observing this kind of behavior. I do hope, as RK mentioned, that he gets the help he needs.

  6. Jennifer Brown BanksMarch 28, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    Good point. Thanks for the input.

  7. Can you believe Charlie Sheen is coming to Chicago? I'm definitely going to You Tube that disaster. Controversy absolutely does sell but i question the staying power of actors (writers, artists, etc.) who go that route.

  8. Jennifer Brown BanksApril 1, 2011 at 9:36 AM


    He's coming to the Windy City? Didn't know that. It should prove to be interesting.:-)

    Thanks for dropping by.