As a ghostwriter for therapists and other busy professionals, I get these two questions a lot: “What do ghostwriters do? And how do you work?” I figured I would take a moment to answer those questions.
What is ghostwriting?
First things first. What is ghostwriting? When I’m feeling quippy, I say ghostwriting is where I do all the work and you get all the credit! The real answer is the ghostwriter embodies the voice of their client. The client is the one who will come up with an idea (usually, but not always) and the ghostwriter will expound upon the idea, but make sure it is written in the style of the client. What does that mean?
You know how some writers use short sentences (Hemingway) whereas others employ long run-ons (Faulkner)? You don’t need to be a literary giant to have your own writing voice. Everyone has their own voice. It comes across not only in sentence length, but also word choice. Do you use words like “escapade” and “superfluous”? Or are you more comfortable writing “adventure” and “repetitive”? Those things matter and coalesce to form your writing voice. A good ghostwriter picks up on those things and makes sure to write with them in mind.
Something else that people may not pay attention to is punctuation. I don’t mean the standard comma, period, and question mark punctuation. I also mean, do you use dashes? Or semicolons? Or even full colons? As someone who’s been a professional writer since 2006, these are all things I notice and take into account as I’m writing a piece for a client.
How does ghostwriting work?
Now that I’ve explained what ghostwriting is, how does it work? How do I ghostwrite for therapists? Or ghostwrite for professionals? It all starts with a free consultation. We have a chat with one another and see if we’re a good fit because ultimately that’s THE most important factor with good ghostwriting. Do we have a connection? Is there a simpatico relationship? If we’re not on the same page (ba-dum ching), there’s no way I’ll be able to write for you. So first we chat.
If we decide to move forward, then I’ll work on a paid sample. What that means is I’ll ghostwrite something for you charging either an hourly rate or a rate per word (your choice). Then we’ll either have a phone call where you present your ideas to me and I take copious notes, or you’ll send me a bunch of links to articles, YouTube videos, or podcasts that present your point of view. If it’s the latter, I also like to see something you’ve written so I can capture your writing style, which can be quite different from how you speak.
I’ll write up the piece, send it to you, and then you’ll review it. If you like it, if your response is, “Yes! I could have written this!” we’ll craft a contract. If you read it and go, “Ugh. This is terrible, I would never say this,” then we part ways — no hard feelings.
Ultimately I strive to take the stress out of writing, but if we’re not jiving with one another, I won’t be able to do that. That’s why I place so much emphasis on being a good match. Sure, you could hire a ghostwriter who will slap something together for you, but your name is on the piece. That’s important to remember. Do you want people to think you wrote it? If not, that’s a major red flag. If I’ve done my job right, you’ll be proud to share the article or blog with your social networks.
If you’re interested in exploring whether we’re a good fit for one another, reach out to me. I’m here.