A Ghostwriter, Ghostwriting Ghosts
Life is a lot of what you make it, and a lot of what you want it to be. I don’t mean that as a spiritual statement, but one about complacency and honesty. For me, writing is something I’ve always done because I love it. You’re reading this article because I took a few minutes from designing websites to write it. I wrote it, not a ghostwriter.
I’m not doing this full time, as a career. Sure, I attended a few classes in college to make my writing skills better. But under no circumstances should I ever pretend I’m a professional writer.
And I’ll say that after I’ve published a book or two, too.
Success and Failure
For better or worse, the things I write are mine and I’ve written then for the joy of dreaming and creating. Of course, I want more people to read them! Perhaps you could call that vanity or ego. But at least I tell myself that it’s because I love the story I’m writing and I want to share those stories.
I’m rough around the edges in ways that I don’t show. I have doubts, I have insecurities, I have issues. I have my own perspective and voice. From those things I draw inspiration for my stories and characters. If I were to hand my work to a ghostwriter, what would that mean for me?
It would be hollow.
When To Ghostwriter It Up
If I were in writing to stack piles of cash from my work, and I wasn’t in this for fun, that would change things. At that point, a ghostwriter might make sense, because I’d be in it as an investment or for business.
Not everyone is able to craft a story so masterful that Hollywood calls with a movie deal. And it’s true that those who do receive movie deals aren’t always employing ghostwriters. (And sometimes people get movie deals for terrible stories.)
But there’s this advice people give. The wisdom sounds like, “if you want to make money writing books, you have to throw piles of books at the problem.” Most of us can’t write a book a month, it’s just not reasonable. And that’s where a ghostwriter (or a team of ghostwriters) can help.
But it’s all about what you want out of it. There’s nothing wrong with creating a story so big that you need help to tell each part. Fatigue is also more real than we want to believe.
Editors vs Ghostwriters
Let me say it this way, too. This isn’t supposed to be a jab at people who ghostwrite, hire ghostwriters, or want to be a ghostwriter. It just doesn’t align with how or why I write. If I were to ask someone to help me write, the books would be attributed to David Brooks and that other person. They deserve credit for their work.
And with that said, I also think there’s a difference between ghostwriting and editing. Even if that editor does heavy reworking, it’s a different function that someone who I pay to write things for me.
For me, though rejection hurts, if I never sell a book, so be it. But if I sell thousands of copies of something with my name on it, but I didn’t write it, what have I sold?