The Delectable Oddities of Ghostwriting

As a ghostwriter, I get a real charge out of helping people to impart their wisdom to those who need it most. I have two sets of clients: The Author and The Readers. When both are satisfied, I’ve made a ripple.

That ripple most often comes in the form of a full-length book or a blog article, but some projects are unexpected, unconventional…odd, even.

I’ve got to admit, they might be my favorites.

The Macabre

“I want to make people laugh while they’re mourning.” This from a man who had just learned of his terminal cancer. One month later, the humorous statement had been carved into his headstone.

The Vengeful

“He needs to know what he did to me.” This from a woman who had just found out her lover had been cheating on her. I didn’t realize that her PayPal account had been linked to his checking account until after he received the six-page letter. Of course, I issued a refund.

The Generous

“I don’t want them to know where it came from.” This from a woman who wanted a letter drafted to her church — a letter that would accompany a $100,000 gift. It couldn’t be in her style; her identity would have to be protected.

The Dishonest

“My dad will pay you.” This from a premed student at one of the most prestigious universities in the U.S. Of course, I didn’t take the job.

The Touching

“I am losing my mind.” This from an elderly pastor, who disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. He wanted his last sermons to be written in his voice, in his tongue-in-cheek style, so that his congregation would not suspect a thing. His wish, of course, was my honor and pleasure.

The Whimsical

“No one can know it’s me.” This from a student who “borrowed” his mother’s over-sized ceramic garden squirrel to accompany him on a study-abroad trip to Spain. I built the website, uploaded the photos, and posted daily updates on Sebastian’s adventures.

The Nervous

“I can’t sound stupid.” This from a television journalist who had just landed her very first assignment. She wanted questions written for a scheduled interview — relevant questions that would keep her subject talking. This was the first of five ghostwritten interview scripts. Today, she’s interrogating guests like nobody’s business.

Never Boring

Those are just a few examples of unusual ghostwriting jobs I’ve fielded, and big parts of why I love this vocation. The people I meet, the messages I get to impart, and the things I learn about the world are precious to me.

Have you been struggling with finding the words to express yourself? Do you have wisdom to impart or a technique to teach, but you’re having difficulty putting it into words (either written or spoken)? Contact me. We should talk.

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Become a Published Author

If you’re trying to gain professional authority in your field, enhance your profile or simply get more business, the best way to accomplish that is to write and publish a book.

Writing a book is an oxymoron of sorts; a counter-intuitive notion. It seems like a ginormous task — something most business owners and entrepreneurs don’t even want to think about.

And yet, the crazy thing is this: Becoming a published author is the shortest route to attaining all those delicious things you’re craving, like notoriety in your industry, sales without having to sell, networking opportunities and yes, market domination.

Here’s why:

  • You’ll go from having to prove your expertise to owning it. That’s because without a book, you’ve got to give advice, spend hours crafting custom proposals, write dissertations on the meaning of the universe…all to prove that you’re worthy of a look. When you’re the author of a published book, it’s assumed that you’re an expert in the field — even by those who will never bother to read it.
  • Writing a book is a self-belief builder. If you’re like most professionals, the idea of writing a book is more terrifying than watching a Saw movie — at home, alone, with reports of a serial killer casing the neighborhood. Guess what? Your competition is at least as scared as you are. And do you know who wins? The one with the published book and the confidence to move on to bigger, better and scarier things. Fear’s just a thing, and the more of it you have, the better the indicator that you need to slay it.
  • A published book gives you plenty to talk about with your audience. There are press releases when it’s published, public speaking events to deliver its content, the winning of awards (and rubbing elbows at the ceremonies), book signings, guest blogging requests, PR opportunities…and lots of other fabulous, business-building breaks — because remember, you’re now a sought-after expert in your field.
  • Your business will become more visible. If you’ve ever felt like you’re invisible in the market, well join the millions of other business owners who are wallowing in their own anonymity. Write a book and voila! There you are. You see, when you’re a published author, people suddenly start coming out of the woodwork. Some of them will be hearing about you for the first time (thanks to the expert marketing of your book), and others will finally start paying attention when they see or hear your name.
  • Your profile suddenly looks more impressive. Writing descriptions and bios for your online profiles is loads of fun, right? You know what you do and what you’re skilled at, but what do your dream clients want to know about you? Well, I can tell you one thing they want to know: That you’re a published author. Seriously, put yourself in their shoes for moment. Who are you going to buy from? The published author or…well, you know…the other guy?
  • Books provide a passive income source. After the writing is done, you’ve got a network of marketing resources available to you, so that you can make money from this book while you eat, sleep or suck down drinks on a beach somewhere. Now, I’m not implying that writing and marketing a book is easy. I am, however, attesting to the fact that you can reel in passive income long after the hard work’s done.

I could go on and on, but you’ve got to get to work. You have a book to write.

Just a few pieces of wisdom before I go:

  • Your intellectual property and unique experiences are commodities that deserve to be compensated. Treat them like the gems they are. Share them with pride and with care.
  • Don’t get too wrapped up in perfecting your writing, especially in the first draft. They make second, third and fourth drafts for that…and there are these nifty little gnomes that only come out at night. They’re called editors.
  • Research the market before you start writing. The worst case I’ve ever seen? A woman spent five years writing her life’s work, only to realize when she took it to an agent that she’d inadvertently copied the subject matter of another best-selling book. Ouch!
  • Write from a place of empathy and understanding for your reader, who is also your dream client. Give them your heart, your soul, your sweat…your commitment. Nothing bad can come from that.

And there you go: Why I think you should become a published author. You’re better than you think, and more capable than you’re capable of knowing.

Not sure where to start? Have you already written your book and it needs editing? Or do you want to become a published author without having to write a single word? I’ve got you. Email jacindalittle@gmail.com and we’ll talk about your goals, and if a ghostwriter is right for you.

 

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