Ghostwriting: It’s Pros and Cons
Is Ghostwriting worth it, when everything that goes to publication ends up under someone else’s name and you get no credit for it while others reap the rewards? It’s a question many writers ask themselves before they take on a Ghostwriting position. For me, it was a little different because I’m naturally an excitable person, and when I got offered such a position, I dived into Ghostwriting with gusto, without even considering how it would make me feel, nor what the outcome would be. Have you ever lost your job for being too good at it? Then keep reading, because you’re not alone!
Photo credit: Freelance Writing
WHAT IS A GHOSTWRITER?
To understand the job of a Ghostwriter, you need to look at the ins and outs of the position itself. Basically, an Employee will hire a writer to create professional copy for blogs, websites, businesses, even novels. Yes, that’s right! Many Novelists use a Ghostwriter to help them write their books, or even rewrite their material in a more professional way. It is the way of the world and very common these days. People want high quality writing copy, as it portrays their professional status in the business market. And lets face it, nothing spells unprofessional like grammatical errors, misused commas and full stops. They want their content to flow and provide their readers a smooth and easy reading adventure so they keep coming back for more. So where does my story come into the equation?
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MY GHOSTWRITING STORY
I’m a mum of two amazing kids and I worked very hard to obtain my Bachelor of Arts Degree, majoring in Journalism and Creative Writing & Literature. I’m also a Journalist, Feature Writer, Web Content Writer, Photographer and Ghostwriter. There’s that word again!
My story begins with a fabulous job offer that I felt was too good to be true, but my excitement took over and I accepted a Ghostwriting position for a very successful blog. Due to my ethical demeanour, I will not make the name of the blog public, as I always protect people’s reputations. What I can tell you though, is that during a five month stint as a professional Ghostwriter, I published more than 100 blogs under another’s name. I loved my job and worked very hard and produced high quality content for someone to help them sell their brand. I did so well in the job, that the business owner won an award for their blog recently, and I was released from my position the day before the awards ceremony. I was heartbroken and had the rug completely swept from under my feet. Unbelievable you say? In today’s professional world; especially in my industry, nothing surprises me anymore.
Now, I’m not saying that due to my written contributions, this was the only reason this person won the award. Absolutely not!!! They deserve so much credit for their successful business, but they treated me unfairly and I do feel that my contributions had a large part in all things. It was no one’s fault but my own in the end because I signed up for it. I went in blind and very trustingly (being the person that I am, and a Pisces at that), so my heart was hurt, my ego was bruised and my trust in people was quite crushed.
You see, I have never worked so hard for anyone before, as I believed in this person and their brand and I produced so much content that I was kicked to the kerb for it in the end, leaving behind three weeks worth of blogging content in my wake, as I was always racing to get ahead for them, time management and all that. Now I still sit and read my work that continues to get published while I’m already gone, with their own editing skills making me look like a simpleton. I won’t even admit to friends that some of the content is still mine. I never realised it could hurt so much, and the only reason I was given for being let go, was that they felt like I wasn’t writing enough in their voice. In other words, I was too good at my job. Shame on me.
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Who gets let go for doing a good job right? I was happy to do it, and I would have never told anyone that I was responsible for the content. Again, because of the person that I am and my ethical side always taking over, I reasoned with myself that this person had every right to let me go, so that they could start writing as themselves again. I should have wanted this person to be exposed! Instead, I comforted myself with the fact that I’m good at what I do, that something better will come along and that I need to finally write for myself. So here I am, writing my first blog entry as a form of healing, in between job applications as I am unemployed with a mortgage and two human kids and three furry kids to feed. Am I still heartbroken? Yes. Will I survive? Yes. Have I lost my spark and kind and vibrant personality? Absolutely not. Life goes on and so do I.
PROS AND CONS OF BEING A GHOSTWRITER
So now, the pros and cons of a Ghostwriting position. My advice to anyone thinking about being a Ghostwriter, is to consider how you will feel writing as someone else, and work out if it’s something that you can cope with every single day while you watch another take the credit. It is an absolutely professional job and it can pay you very well. But if your heart can’t take it, don’t do it, because you may find yourself in my current shoes after working so damn hard every single day just to try and please your boss, and make them shine in the spotlight. Consider this!!!
- Can pay very well
- Will make you a better writer due to the fast pace content requirement
- Does give you job satisfaction seeing your productivity, even if no one thanks you for it
- Is self satisfying because you know that you’re doing a good job
- You will never get credit for your own work
- Feelings of being unappreciated can take over
- Exhaustion can hit you from the pressure to produce content and fast
- You could lose your position if you get too good at what you do
I guess the moral of my story is:
Work out what’s best for you and what you can cope with in a working environment, don’t give up on your dreams, don’t be so hard on yourself and stop trying to please people so much, because the first person you should always please, is you.
Always stay true to who you are.
If you have a story of something that’s happened to you in the writing world, I would love to hear from you so comment below.