Education

What’s It Really Like To Be A Ghost Writer

I am a ghost writer, and this is a very interesting job for a freelance professional writer. I started out freelancing in 1980, while also working as a home health care aide for the disabled as my day job, and this gave me some material to write about in the Seattle area. As of 2003, I began a ghost writing and editing business on the Internet. Nowadays I’m semi-retired, and I send out work to my team of ghost writers, editors, marketers and promoters of books, screenplays and other written works.
So I’m kept pretty busy by my job, sometimes as a ghost for certain projects, sometimes as a writing service for the bulk of my projects. It’s a bit like being Sherlock Holmes – I only need to take on the “interesting cases” that come in. My role is usually that of an overseer or go-between when it comes to sending out work to my players/ghost writers, but I have to call on all my skills gained over the years when it comes to ghost writing and editing, whether it’s me or someone else who is doing the jobs for our incoming clients.
The job of a ghost writer can be a thankless one. You get no real credit for your actual hard work; you only get paid, hopefully quite well, for the writing, editing and other work that you do. A lot of ghost writers like working with other people’s ideas, though, as it helps to be well compensated by the client when it comes to entertaining any of your own ideas and carefully merging them into the work. Being paid is motivation enough to do a great job each time for most ghosts, and our company does our best through our ghost writing services to also arrange for the clients to get paid, through our marketing and promotions services.
It can also be pretty free-wheeling, the life of a professional ghost writer and editor. You can choose which jobs to take, what hours to work, what prices, fees and rates to set, etc. The client has a certain amount of control over you and your time, but you basically are your own boss and set your own schedules and rates. Gone are the days where you had to report to an editor or other project overseer; you only need to report directly to your clients on a steady, regular basis. And as a ghost writer of books and screenplays, you get to choose the genres you like to work with and which styles of writing you feel you’re best at when it comes to taking on ghost writing jobs. I prefer working with book writing projects over screenwriting projects myself, for instance.
My role as an overseer or go-between with my team of writers, editors, marketers and promoters generally involves being the mediator in any disputes, handling questions from both the ghost and the client in each case, and always being at their disposal for any problems. I sometimes supply a contract for the ghost and the client to sign, but usually my writers use their own contracts each time. It’s a lot easier for me than when I take on a ghost writing or editing job of my own, but it can have its ups and downs too, overseeing a ghost writing job.
To wrap things up, it’s a fun and varied life being an online professional freelance writer running a ghost writing service. And it’s also my job to occasionally ghost write books, and to edit work that needs the special touch of a professional to bring it to a final gleam of professional excellence – so that it can be presented to literary agents and publishers in a correct and formal manner.

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