I once had a fellow author ask me what ghostwriting was. I explained ghostwriting is writing a story for someone else. They come to me with the ideas and I help them write out their story but receive no credit for the published story. This author then asked why I would want to do such a thing.
I can’t remember where I heard it but someone once told me, “Ghostwriters were the whores of the writing world. They get paid to perform a service and never speak of it.” While I don’t appreciate the comparison, I have to admit it is somewhat accurate.
People have come to me with some really, really good ideas for stories. Or really interesting things they have lived through. As a ghostwriter, I get a chance to share their story with the world. Even better, I get paid to write. The downfall is nobody will ever know I’m the one who helped them write their story.
Challenge for You: Help someone else with their story. I’m not saying to become a ghostwriter but I’m sure you can find someone to help with their story.
In the long run, I have found some really great benefits of ghostwriting.
1. Improving on character development
Up to this point, I would say ninety percent of the ghostwrite projects I have taken on are non-fiction. Because the author knows everything about their life and I know very little I have to ask them more questions than an individual would be comfortable sharing with a stranger. I cannot simply write how they handled a situation a certain way I often have to ask why they handled it the way they did because it is not always the way I would have handled it. This has aided to my fictional character development.
2. Improving my writing skills
A good ghostwriter is a ghost of a writer. If I have done my job well, I’m not seen in the final product. This has challenged me quite a bit as a writer. Ghostwriting requires me to look at a manuscript as a writer, as a reader, and as the author. I have to look at it from so many different aspects to ensure the story is told by the author, in their voice, but understood by the reader.
A large part of ghostwriting non-fiction is sifting through the details of somebody’s life. What they find as super important might not be very relevant to the reader in the long run.
3. Improve my people skills
Ghostwriting also requires me to exit the comfort of my introvert sphere. A large portion of the topics happening over a person’s lifetime can prove to be very emotional. As a ghostwriting, I’m making them walk through all those emotional times and divulge all the details. I have to be respectful but also aware of how far I can push the author. They want to tell their story so it is my job to help them bring out all the details.
Ghostwriting is not for everyone. But if it is something you decide to pursue understand and be respectful that it is more than simply getting a paycheck. Often times, you’ll become someone the person confides in and trusts because they’ve exposed you to their life at such an intimate level.
Tip of the Day: Always seek to grow.
#NaNoWriMo #writerscommunity #authorlife #storytelling #ghostwrite
Nicole Donoho, owner of Teddyfly LLC, enjoys writing stories for all ages. She currently lives in Northwest Arkansas where she takes in the beauty of the Natural State with her husband, Jacob, and their three sons-Elijah, Josiah, and Solomon.