Ghostwriting isn’t for everyone. I avoided doing it for a long time even though I signed up for a few freelance places. I fell into ghostwriting in November due to necessity. I needed a way to earn money that would pay me faster than my book sales at Amazon. Not to mention the book sales weren’t doing great so they weren’t really paying the bills. Even though I jumped into it pretty quickly once I decided to do it, I did some research. Luckily I have some friends who had a friend who is a ghostwriter and they got me in touch with her. She gave me some good advice. One piece I had already decided on was having a contract, one with a confidentiality clause. Other things I had decided before I posted my availability for ghostwriting was my price, how many words I would devote to ghostwriting a month, the contract service I would use. The business side of it seemed simple.
First Lesson Learned
When I need money I’m willing to go over my allotted word count limit for ghostwriting. I had originally said I would write 20,000 words a month for ghostwriting leaving the rest for me and my books. But when a client wanted me to hire me to write eight 5,000 word short stories I said yes. The money would come in handy and I can write 5,000 words in two days.
I ended up devoting most of the month to those short stories though and didn’t write any of my own. That was for NaNoWriMo. So even though I won National Novel Writing Month I did so with stories that belonged to someone else.
Second Lesson Learned
There is no shortage of jobs for ghostwriters. Non fiction, biographies, fiction, corporate writing – jobs abound for all of them. It comes down to what you’re willing to write. So I had to decide what I would write and what I wouldn’t. So far I haven’t found a genre I wouldn’t write as long as I have an outline. I haven’t bid on any of the non fiction or corporate writing jobs yet but that will come later.
Third Lesson Learned
If you give me an outline I will write. I state in my contract that the author (my client) must provide me with an outline. I write to that. For some I add more if the outline is brief. Other outlines are detailed chapter breakdowns. I like those. They make it very easy to get the words written in a timely manner. And it helps me to write to the word count the client wants. I’ve written to word count before when writing stories to submit to anthologies so that wasn’t new. I was surprised that I could write so tightly to word count. Only one story ventured into the 5,100 word range. All the other stories were under 5,100 words.
With a story mapped out for me I can write even in genres or tropes that I don’t usually write. And that can help me expand my writing horizons. One of the stories was in a genre I’d thought about writing but hadn’t tried yet. Didn’t know if I could write it. Turns out I can. Of course my client gave me a detailed outline with chapter breakdowns and a book description. Being able to write the genre for myself won’t be the hard part. The hard part will be coming up with an outline that fits the genre.
Fourth Lesson Learned
Coming up with ideas for me is easy. Coming up with ideas for someone else is hard. I had a client who wanted me to come up with one of the short story ideas I would then write for them. I thought, no problem. I come up with ideas all the time. I have so many I’ll never get to them all. Problem is, I like those ideas, all of them, and want to write them one of these days. Coming up with an idea I was willing to give away, have no claim to at all even though I wrote the story, was super hard. That story took me the longest to write out of all the ones I did for that client. Even the ones in sub genres I’d never written in before.
Fifth Lesson Learned
Even though I despise reading first person point of view I like writing it. A lot. When I put up my listing saying I would ghostwrite I said I was basically open to any genre which was true. I didn’t mention I didn’t like first person. All three of my initial clients wanted their stories (or some of them in the case of one client) in first person. Thanks to my clients I have now written in first person past tense, first person present tense and first person male. I think it’s helped me grow as a writer. And all writing means more practice on my craft.
Sixth Lesson Learned
When assigning my time for ghostwriting I should take into account that life can intervene. Without a buffer I could get behind. Also without a buffer I couldn’t write my own stories. I didn’t want all my words for the month to go to ghostwriting. I still want to publish my own stories but to do that I need to write for me. Ghostwriting has taught me to be a little more realistic in my word count goals as well.
Will I Keep Ghostwriting?
A final lesson I learned is that I like ghostwriting. When I reach a point where my novels are making enough to make a full time income I will probably still do some ghostwriting. Maybe get to a point where the ghostwriting is the day job and my novels also get written. Ghostwriting isn’t going away. Lots of people use ghostwriters. Celebrities who want to release their own biographies, people who want to write their memoir but can’t write the book, corporations, websites. I like the variety, the learning experience, getting words on the page.
Have you read a book that’s been ghostwritten? You might have and never knew it.
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A road trip without a plan sounded like a good idea when Lena and her friends hit the road. After hours of driving in the heat in a cramped car they’re all ready for something to eat and a good night’s rest.
Reflections Inn looks perfect for the group of friends. A little run down, it hides a supernatural horror. A curse that replaces people with their repressed alter egos forces the friends to fight for their lives. Duplicates who lack restraint, crave gratification emerge from the mirrors. Too late they realize they didn’t know each other as well as they thought.
One by one, Lena’s friends learn the truth about their repressed emotions, their suppressed violent urges.
What doesn’t kill them can only make them stronger.