The term 'vanity publishing' has been around for a long time. What about 'vanity writing'?
Do you want to really know which one of the greats your write like? Would that mean there's nothing original left about writing? The things you thought were distinctive about your word choices and the phrases or structures you utilised to build your story; all been done before.
The I Write Like web site allows visitors to test themselves in this way. The site claims to offer a "statistical analysis tool, which analyzes your word choice and writing style and compares them with those of the famous writers".
For a start: who thinks of these things? Who would want to do this? And how hard is it to resist the temptation...? Quite hard apparently.
The service was created by something called 'Coding Robots', which in turns hosts products like Memoirs for Mac and other handy tools for creating online journals and assorted blog styles and tools.
There used to be a sort of highbrow shame about 'vanity publishing' but this has now changed as self-publishing in all its glory takes on the world of traditional publishing.
Could writing go the same way, I wonder? Today, I want to write like...
Give it a go...so I tried the first paragraph from The Last Newspaper in the World - see sample at Scribd if you wish.
For the record, here is the certificate the site flicked up from my sample.
Hands up, I never did finish James Joyce's fantastic novel Ulysses, so maybe my writing is more in the style of 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man'.