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For close to two years I’ve been revamping my writing business to focus more on ghostwriting. This change in strategy has done amazing things for my career. It’s made me fall in love with freelancing all over again and helped me develop a focus, security and stability that I’d felt was lacking before. Like many freelancers, I’d always dabbled in ghostwriting. But I didn’t really target these higher profile projects in which I play a strong, yet invisible hand.
I know that some of you won't understand this next part---but that's okay because I'm really writing it for those of you who will. In 2011, I began to feel burned out (drained, really) by the demands of bylined writing and what I find to be the taxing environment of social media. This feeling made me realize something about myself that I’d never been able to admit, which was that I didn’t want to be on the front page of any magazines or newspapers. I didn’t want to do interviews, have a platform, promote my work, court more social media followers or maintain my Klout. I simply wanted to write. Don't get me wrong, I was proud and excited when major outlets such as The New York Times or PBS linked to something I'd written, but the stress of the attention was not something I was comfortable with. It's also the reason that I'd lose enthusiasm every time I'd start a blog that began to gain popularity.
Ghostwriting allows me to do what I want to do and what I do best without the overhanging fear of the limelight eventually hitting me. It allows me to play a vital supporting role in building the success of business owners, insurance agents and financial advisors while getting them the media attention, clients and exposure they want and need.
My love for ghostwriting isn’t just about the pleasure I get from being a part of someone else’s success. It’s also about a particular writing challenge that I love: finding the voice of my client. When I write as myself, I write with my own voice—an overly adjectified, made-up-worded, sardonic twang. But that voice isn’t appropriate for many of my clients, which leaves me the freedom to develop the one that is. Ghostwriting is like acting. I slip into the role of another person and I present their thoughts, their strategies and their ideas to the public in the unique way they want these things communicated. It’s amazing the response you get when you hit that perfect note and the client feels completely at home within your prose. I know this sounds corny, but it’s freakin’ magical.
Over the next few months I’ll be doing a series of weekly posts on ghostwriting. If you have any particular questions that you’d like to see answered (and don’t worry, I already plan to cover the issue of clips), please leave them below and I’ll make sure to work them into the rotation.