The Gift of Ghost Writing by Rob Morgan - Guest Post
As a freelance newbie, I felt cheated the first time I saw my writing attributed to another, online. I had been hired as a ghost writer, for the project, but I didn't realize they wanted a ghost writer until after the client had paid me. Again, I was new and excited to have my first gig, so I may not have read the job details with great care—but, I was never hired to write for the client’s site; I was hired to write for the client.
At first, I didn't even see the client had slapped his own name at the top of the article. It wasn't until I reached the bottom of my first-ever published work of freelance genius that I saw his picture grinning back at me—as if he were the quick-witted wonder who had penned this missive—my missive.
Somewhat distraught, I shared my article with a fellow creative and told him how disappointed I'd been to get no credit for the very first piece of writing I'd ever sold. To which he replied, “Who cares?” he asked with a sudden flash of frustration in his eyes. “You still wrote it—you may have sold it, but you can still make it part of your portfolio and slap 'Ghost Writer' at the top of your resume!”
Well, when you put it that way…
Ghost writers are still writers, by Jove! This means I, too, am now a published writer. Better yet? I am an author who has been paid for his writing. And I gotta tell ya, it feels good.
So good, in fact, that I may be getting ahead of myself by thinking my advice rates your attention. I’m okay with this, though, because I’ve come to recognize that we writers can be a stubborn lot; so, feel free to take or leave my commentary, as you see fit.
New freelancers may be hesitant to accept ghost-writing gigs for any number of legitimate reasons—reasons that, in all likelihood, will resonate with countless other writers. After all, you've finally made the decision to do this thing for real, and at least some part of you wants credit for the guts to do so as much as for your ability to wordsmith. But here's what I have come to realize about the ghost writing game: it will make you a better writer. And the following are a few ghost writing benefits I encourage all newbies to consider, when presented with this hidden gift of the trade:
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1. It's an opportunity to hone your craft—a craft you’ve not yet had the chance to develop, professionally. You're not Richard Russo (I’m speculating, of course—if you are Mr. Russo, I’m a huge fan and thank you for your readership), so no one cares what you have to say, until you learn how to say it in unique and well-crafted way. Ghost writing will help you do this.
2. It's an opportunity to learn how to write for others. Writing for others is different than writing for self. Ghost writing can help you adjust to this difference and teach you how to adjust your perspective, along the way. And perspective can be writer’s greatest asset.
3. It's an opportunity to get paid for your ability to connect with others. As writers, passion is part and parcel of our personality—but, there are times when it's difficult to conjure up what's really needed to move our own audiences. When that happens, use your talents to help others move theirs.
4. It's an opportunity to garner constructive feedback sans criticism. Clients are more than happy to provide positive feedback for you, if you meet their demands. And while the words they purchase may be yours, others will not see it as your work; so, you have no reason to worry about how well they may be received by others.
5. It's an opportunity to enhance your own knowledge and skill sets. If freelancing has taught me anything, it's this: new projects bring new information—information translates into new experiences, and experiences enable writers to develop.
6. Beggars can't be choosers. If you've finally made the decision to this thing called writing, and you aim to do it for real, then you've got to be prepared to start somewhere. Don't ever make the mistake of thinking you're too good to do it any other way.
7. Ghost writing is writing. Period.
Now get out there and say something worthy of someone else's name!
View Rob Morgan's LinkedIn profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/jrmorganjr/
Posted by Stephen Davies
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