Business Isn’t Really About Business

I heard an expression that stuck with me the other day — business isn’t really about business. When you think about it, it’s true. Is your business about trying to sell something? Or is it about relationships? Is your business about providing a service? Or is it about making an impact in the field of humanity? I wear many hats — I’m a Bay Area freelance journalist, marketing content writer, and ghostwriter for therapists.

In each area of my business, I’m trying to accomplish something different. As a Bay Area freelance journalist, business is primarily about relationships. I’m connecting with the people I’m interviewing and trying to tell their stories accurately. It’s one reason I never excelled at breaking news (although I’ve written my fair share of breaking news stories).

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So much of the news is impersonal and that’s not what I excel at. Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

With breaking news, it’s about the facts, not relationships. Breaking news is always something along the lines of, “There’s a fire on 12th Street!” or “The Supreme Court issued a new ruling!” There isn’t time to share impact, like how the fire on 12th Street means that a single mom no longer has a place to live, or the new Supreme Court ruling means Daisy Lopez can send her daughter to preschool for free.

Breaking news is usually impersonal but I’m an empath and a highly sensitive person. I feel deeply and so my greatest gift is the ability to connect with others. That’s what I do as a Bay Area freelance journalist. 

My work as a marketing content writer is slightly different in that the relationship is less about connecting with someone to share their story and instead connecting with someone to serve their business. When I conduct SEO blog writing services, I’m supporting someone else so that their relationships can improve.

Two women talking while sitting down
Being a marketing content writer is about supporting someone else’s relationships. Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

If no one knows your business exists, there is no relationship and that’s where SEO blog writing comes in. It may seem weird or annoying or icky but ultimately, there’s so much noise on the internet the way people find one another is through using search engines. And like it or not, search engines want to show people relevant information. Those search engines determine if information is relevant in part based on keywords. So that’s my work as a marketing content writer, which includes SEO blog writing services and a case study writing service.

The other work I do is ghostwriting for therapists. This aspect combines both relationships and the impact that relationship will have on the field of humanity. The relationship matters tremendously in ghostwriting because if I don’t understand someone, there’s no way I can write something in the way they’d write it. We have to get along and be a good fit. But more than that, I love ghostwriting for therapists because of the content. I get to write pieces like, “How to process trauma” or “Signs of emotional abuse and where to get help.” The pieces I’m writing matter to me because they’re contributing to the healing of humanity. 

A Black person and a white person clasping hands
Words matter because they can touch people’s hearts. Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

As you’ve likely noticed, everyone is wounded in one way or another. They’re struggling with feeling worthy, or overcoming perfectionism, or recovering from narcissistic abuse. Everybody has something but not everyone is able to work with a therapist for one reason or another. That’s where SEO blog writing for therapists comes in. The content I write for them provides valuable information that people can use AND raises the therapist’s visibility so they can reach more people. Even thinking about it I get chills. 

What would the world be like if everyone got the mental health support they needed? What would the world be like if they had the tools to heal from the things that hurt them? That’s what excites me — knowing I’m supporting someone who doesn’t have time to write to share valuable information with the world. Information that really and truly can impact humanity. 

Is business just about the act of business? Nope. In my case as a Bay Area freelance journalist, marketing content writer, and ghostwriter for therapists, it’s about relationships and impacting the field of humanity. If either of those things sounds good to you and you’d like to work together, reach out to me. I’m here.


All Delays are Beneficial

As a Bay Area freelance journalist, I don’t like delays. It’s the bane of my existence waiting for people to get back to me. “I have a deadline, people! Get a move on!” But I’m coming to realize something spiritual teacher Tosha Silver says frequently: “All delays are beneficial.”

My impatient self cringes hearing that because I want everything to be swift and on my timeline. But, well, my life isn’t a one-woman show. There are lots of actors and factors that coalesce when it comes to creating anything and everything. In other words, I don’t have the full story. It’s only when I look back that I see, “Oh. Yeah. All delays are beneficial.”

Here’s a small example. I was assigned a story that requires attending a city government hearing. It was on my calendar for weeks and when I checked the agenda closer to the meeting date . . . it wasn’t there. The hearing was been pushed back. Instead of irking me, I was grateful because it turns out the week of the hearing was veeeeeery busy with other deadlines, and adding one more thing would have tipped me over the edge into the land of Too Much. There’s no way I would have told my editor that. Instead, I would have sucked it up, stressed myself out, and probably stayed up until midnight trying to finish everything. As a spoonie, that’s a bad idea. I don’t have the luxury of pushing myself too hard because it takes me a week or more to “bounce back” from doing that. Ahem, all delays are beneficial!

freelance content marketing writer
All delays are beneficial, including airport ones. Photo by Suganth on Unsplash

It’s also true for my clients that all delays are beneficial. I’m a mental health blogger as well as a ghostwriter for therapists. What that means is in addition to writing blogs for therapists, I also ghostwrite books. One of my clients and I have been working on a book for months. Whenever we think we’re finished, we realize there’s something else to add. If we had rushed the process and ushered her book out the door, it wouldn’t have been ready. The book would have been half-baked and dissatisfying.

What I tell myself and my clients is that every book has its own trajectory. We have an idea of when and how a book should be out in the world but that’s not up to us. Life works out better when we understand there is such a thing as divine timing.

One of my favorite stories about this involves Italy. When I was 20, I studied abroad in London and had every intention of going to Italy. What better time than when you’re already temporarily living in Europe?!? Except, it didn’t happen. I didn’t have the money. I didn’t have anyone to travel with. I didn’t have the time. Unlike some study abroad programs, mine was rigorous and they punished you for skipping class to go travel. It just didn’t work for me to visit Italy.

blogger for mental health professionals
None of this for me. Photo by Ross Parmly on Unsplash

For the next seven years, I dreamed of going to Italy. Whenever I heard about someone’s trip, I seethed with envy. “What about me? I want to go! Why hasn’t it happened yet?!?” My hopes rose and plummeted like a falcon scouting for prey every time I made plans that fell through. Finally, when I was 27, I worked for a radiology publication that decided to send me to Vienna, Austria for a conference. I asked if I could take some time off afterward to travel and they said yes!

After seven years of yearning, I was finally going to Italy — and someone else paid for the plane ticket. It was the most grace-filled trip of my life. You see, in the ensuing seven years from when the seed was first planted, I became friends with numerous people, including Italians. When I visited Florence, I had a free place to stay and someone to show me the sights. I also became friends with a woman who was teaching English in France and just so “happened” to have a spring break at the exact same time I was traveling. We traipsed through Italy together and “happened” to visit the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze, which is the museum that houses the “David” statue, on International Women’s Day. That meant we got into the museum for FREE. 

So many other things happened — running into a friend of mine on the train, having him play tour guide, catching my flight home just in time. Every part of the trip felt as if an invisible hand was guiding me, directing me, creating an experience for me to relish. But here’s the thing: None of it could have happened earlier. I didn’t know any of the people I traveled with during that trip when I was 20.    

mental health blogger
I did it! That’s me at the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.

When I think about my Italian adventure, I remember there is proper timing for everything. And if I wait, I might just have the experience of a lifetime.  It might sound strange to talk about delays on a business website but business isn’t exempt from divine timing. We are still humans operating in a magical and mysterious world. Sometimes that means things are delayed and I’m choosing to believe all delays are beneficial.

That said, if the timing feels right for you to build your business, reach out to me.  We can work on blogs, books, and anything in between. I’ll be over here, waiting to hear from you, knowing until I do that all delays are beneficial.

Master of One

Last month I wrote about how December is usually a slow month for me and that I just needed to wait for everything to change. If I had patience, I was sure January would be different. Sure enough, January arrived and I’ve been flooded with work. Everyone seems to remember I exist! It’s a great problem to have because I would much rather be busy than bored.

Being busy doesn’t only mean writing blogs for therapists — it’s also freelance journalism work. At the start of this month, several magazines reached out to me and asked if I was available. I love what I do, being an Oakland freelance journalist, content writer for small businesses, and ghostwriter for therapists, because I’m forever learning something new. The other month I wrote an article about a woman who creates artwork from eggshells. I learned more about a proposed development in San Francisco, and I interviewed the coach from a high school cross-country team that’s won 20 consecutive league championships. 

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Not the cross-country team in question. Photo by Fitsum Admasu on Unsplash

In my position, I get to learn more about the inner world and the outer world. You want to talk about inner child healing? I’m your girl! Interested in chatting about plein air painting? I can talk about that too. My skillset means I can write about any topic for any audience. And I have. My work has appeared in scientific journals, anthologies, luxury magazines, and local newspapers. My ghostwriting work is the same.  Pieces I’ve written for therapists have been published in academic anthologies, large therapy websites, and personal blogs.  

Potential clients are often surprised when they talk to me because I can do anything they want. “Are you interested in an ebook? I can write that. Do you want SEO help for your website? I can do that too. Want me to rewrite your Psychology Today bio? I’m on it!” I do it all. 

There’s that saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none,” but I defy that stereotype because I’m a Jane of all trades and a master of one: non-fiction writing. (Fiction writing is a different kettle of fish, as I’m learning. My journalism skills do NOT translate to writing a novel unless you count the research part.) I’ve worked as a professional writer for 18 years.  I know what I’m doing and I’m happy to do it. 

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The tools of the trade. Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Some people think they can use ChatGPT to write blogs for them, and they can, but not if they want to appeal to humans. I’m not denying the power or usefulness of AI but I am saying that I’m better than AI. What I do requires decision-making, creativity, and empathy. In short, it requires something a machine can never provide: humanity.

Here’s a true story for you. One of the things I’m most proud of in my career is that I wrote a profile of a former San Francisco Planning Commission president. When he died, the family included a quote from that piece in his official obituary. This is what I’m capable of as a woman who is a master of her craft. I’m not saying there isn’t room for improvement because I’m always learning but this is why it’s worth it to hire me. I touch the hearts and minds of people who read my work, whether that’s as a freelance journalist, content writer, or ghostwriter for therapists.

What do you say? Are you interested in collaborating? Get in touch with me. I’d love to hear from you.

Moving with Joy During the Apocalypse

Perhaps it seems strange to talk about joy when there’s so much violence and heartbreak in the world but I’d argue joy is even more important in times like these. When we are in joy, we can approach situations from a different perspective.

It reminds me of a Rumi quote I love, “Move, but don’t move the way fear makes you move.” When things are scary, overwhelming, and frankly traumatic, we act one way. When we are resourced, we act another way. I say this from experience. I’ve let fear motivate me and have made decisions from a fear-based state. I’m not judging myself for it — it makes sense because fear is like an alarm bell and I was doing whatever I could to turn it off.

writer for therapists
I want to move like this! Photo by Craig Chitima on Unsplash

From a fear-based place, I might take on a content writing job just for the money. Or I might say yes to a therapist looking for writing help even though I don’t think we’re a good fit. But, historically, moving the way fear makes me move so often put me out of the frying pan and into the fire. My fear-based decisions didn’t improve my situations and sometimes made them worse.

For instance, years ago the fabulous cottage I escaped to after high-tailing out of a crappy situation turned out to be not so fabulous because it lacked any insulation. I froze during the winter and melted during the summer. Making decisions out of fear doesn’t really work out for me. Instead, I’m learning to move the way trust makes me move. And I’m learning to move the way joy makes me move.

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Bring on the joy! Photo by mi pham on unsplash.

What sort of decisions do I make believing things will work out? That the universe has my back? How do I behave if I honestly believe whatever needs to come will come and whatever needs to go will go? What do I do when I believe I’m meant to be happy and joyful?

When I’m in that place, I’m more thoughtful, considerate, and curious. I believe in the magic and the mystery of the universe and know beautiful things can come out of the blue. I know I’ll receive a random email or telephone call from someone looking for a ghostwriter for therapists. Or a small business that wants a content writer. (Maybe that’s you! If so, contact me!)

San Francisco, CA content writer
Want to chat? Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

Tosha Silver writes in her book Outrageous Openness if you think of the Divine as your ultimate protection and your Source for everything, “Then the Universe can use anything it wishes to meet your needs. You’re no longer limited to what your conditioned mind thinks is possible.” She has countless stories of this happening in her life and in the lives of others. For instance, she found an apartment through a hairdresser and someone else found a literary agent by bowling them over in a yoga class. Fear leads us to believe we have to force things; we have to make them happen. Trust shows us we can relax and be shown the next steps on our path. In other words, trust shows us how to move differently.

How would you act if you moved from a place of trust and joy? What would be different in your life or your business? Would sharing your wisdom with the world bring you joy? Would you like to reach people you otherwise wouldn’t reach on your own? If so, contact me about working together. I’d love to hear from you.

Be Ready

A friend of mine struggled for years with her career. Despite her stellar qualifications, she struggled to find work, and when she did, she felt a little unrecognized. She advanced, but for the most part, work was just fine. Not terrible, but not great either. Then she moved back to her hometown and suddenly everything changed. Her skills were in high demand and she started hobnobbing with powerful people. Some of her LinkedIn posts went viral and people started contacting her left and right, wanting to know her opinion or otherwise network with her. This is a stark contrast to years prior when even getting an interview was difficult!

What happened? I can’t say for sure, but it reminds me of something my mentor says, “God is slow but always on time. When it’s time, he moves fast so be ready.” Change can happen quickly so it’s up to us to be prepared. I see how quickly things can change clearly reflected in the trajectory of my friend’s career but also my own as a freelance journalist, content writer, and ghostwriter for therapists.

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Just like the seasons, change can happen fast. Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

I can go for months without hearing from potential new clients and then suddenly my inbox is flooded with requests. What did I do differently? Did I purchase ads touting my services as a ghostwriter for therapists? Did I scour job boards for freelance writing gigs? Did I create a vision board? No. I didn’t change a thing.

This is the baffling part of being human. We like to believe if only we do X, then we’ll get Y. Don’t get me wrong, there is some truth to that. If you want to publish a book, you must write the darn thing (or hire a ghostwriter, like me). Effort is required to turn any goal into a reality but how and why something is successful or becomes noticed is still a mystery. An example that perfectly demonstrates this is the #StopWillow campaign on TikTok.

ghost writer for therapists
A willow tree and not the Willow project pictured here. Photo by 捷 简 on Unsplash

Videos that seek to stop the Alaska oil drilling project have amassed more than 50 million views (and counting). On March 3, #StopWillow was on TikTok’s top 10 trending list, according to CNN. Similar campaigns to ban oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota were launched, but neither of those issues went viral.

“The growth of #StopWillow TikTok has both befuddled and delighted legacy climate groups, some of which were wondering why it took so long for Willow to get noticed,” CNN reported. The project has been in the works for years so why the sudden interest now? Why are people talking about it? That’s what fascinates me. No one can say for sure how and why these things happen. It’s clear to me there’s another force at work. This is why I invite magic and mystery into my business as a freelance journalist, content writer, and ghostwriter for therapists.

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Embrace the magic. Photo by Almos Bechtold on Unsplash

Tosha Silver talks about this in her book It’s Not Your Money, and says instead of trying to control everything, instead, you “offer the project to the Divine … you say, ‘Okay, God, if You want this to happen, then open the way. Let the connections come. Let everyone who needs me, find me.’ At the right time, the splendid march of synchronicities begins.”

If you’re able to trust and let go, amazing things start to happen. That doesn’t mean you do nothing, rather it means you act with inspiration, from a place of intuition. You keep doing what you’re called to do and recognize “God is slow but always on time. When it’s time, he moves fast so be ready.”

Are you ready to take the stress out of writing? If so, contact me about potentially working together. Who knows what we could achieve together? Maybe we’ll even go viral. . .

How I Got Started as a Ghostwriter for Therapists

My mom tells a story about how when I was young, in preschool perhaps, we drove in the car with my aunt. Chilling in the backseat, I peppered my mom with question after question (as young children do). My mom answered every single one and my aunt replied, “Wow, you’re patient with her.”

Instead of telling me to stop asking questions, my parents encouraged and nurtured my curiosity. Sure, sometimes I heard “curiosity killed the cat,” but that was usually when I started snooping around for Christmas presents. Otherwise, my parents said, “Have at it. Stay curious.” Keep in mind, I’m a child of the late 80s and early 90s so this was before Siri, Alexa, or any other digital assistant could field questions.

Curiosity has been at the center of my life for as long as I can remember so that’s one piece of my journey to becoming a ghostwriter for therapists. Curiosity is key to an interest in sharing information with others.

The other part of my journey is that since I was in second grade, my mom told me I should be a journalist. I didn’t understand why she kept saying that to me. I didn’t like to write at the time and had no interest in the news. In other words, I wasn’t like Rory Gilmore, idolizing news anchors and foreign correspondents. Writing for a living sounded like a terrible occupation. Reading I loved, but writing? Forget it.

ghost writer for therapists
This didn’t interest me for a loooong time. Photo by Yannick Pulver on Unsplash

Writing Finally Became Fun

Fueling my distaste for writing was the fact all of my English teachers were boring, checked out, or pedantic. They didn’t inspire a love of anything in me and thus writing felt like a chore.  However, that all changed in 10th grade.

In 10th grade, I transferred schools and had Mr. Whiteside for English. He jumped on desks, played weird music, and wore bow ties most days. He scribbled interesting quotes on his walls and obviously loved teaching. He was the first English teacher who made reading and writing interesting. He was also the first person who taught me how to write. Up until that point, teachers took it for granted that we students knew what we were doing, or they just didn’t care.

Mr. Whiteside explained diction, the difference between connotation and denotation, parallel sentence structure, and more. He once assigned an exercise where we had to rewrite the same sentence 100 different ways. I hated that assignment with fervor but it stretched my brain and demonstrated how much can be accomplished with language. Suddenly, English went from my least favorite subject to the one I looked forward to the most. Writing finally became fun.

Parallel to a newly discovered love of language, I enrolled in a yearbook class. Yearbook gave me the freedom to roam the halls of the school unchaperoned while I visited various classes and events. Art show? Choir practice? Play rehearsal? I covered them all and learned how much I enjoyed observing real life and then writing about it.

ghost writer for therapists
Observation is fun for me. Photo by Jeremiah Lawrence on Unsplash

I loved my 10th-grade yearbook. I was so proud of it. Everyone put in hours of hard work to make it something special and I knew, I was certain we’d win awards for it.

We didn’t. Not a single one. That crushing blow planted a seed though. I was determined that the following year my school’s yearbook would win at least one award.

And the Winner is. . .

That next year, as a junior, I became editor-in-chief of our school’s yearbook. I poured my blood, sweat, and tears into that book. I worked on it during lunch, purchased a Mac just so I could take page layouts home, proofed every page, and in general worked my tail off.

When the yearbooks were distributed at the end of the year, most of the students didn’t like them because the senior portraits were in the back of the book (by design) instead of in the front as per usual. The student body complained about this and that and couldn’t see what I was trying to accomplish.

writer for therapists
This is the face people made. Photo by Jeffrey Wegrzyn on Unsplash

That summer, I went to yearbook camp and during the awards portion, not only did my school win numerous awards, but my name specifically flashed across the screen: I won first place for theme copy. Me! Something I wrote was considered worthy of praise! At that moment, I realized, “Hey, I could do this. I could make a living as a writer.”

I decided to study journalism in college, fulfilling my mother’s prediction, and went full steam ahead. There were moments when I doubted whether journalism was right for me, especially when I didn’t perform well on an assignment, but I kept at it because there’s nothing like the thrill of telling a good story.

Journalism to Ghostwriting

I worked as a journalist at various publications for several years (if you’re really interested you can see where on my LinkedIn page) and honed my craft. I became adept at interviewing other people, meeting deadlines, and juggling multiple stories at once.

There came a point though when I wanted to try something new. My therapist at the time asked me, “What makes you come alive? And what do people come to you for? The two combined are your genius.” For me, what makes me come alive is storytelling. I love the thrill of figuring out the best way to phrase something, what word to use to convey information. There’s something incredibly satisfying about landing on the perfect word. However, what people want to talk to me about are empathy and psychology. I have logged soooo many hours discussing attachment theory with my friends. Why not make that career?

ghost writer for therapists
This is me now, listening and writing away. Photo by fotografierende on unsplash

So I did. A friend needed a blog written and asked if I could help her. I said, “Let’s give ghostwriting a shot.” It worked out well, I was able to capture her voice and her intention, so I kept going. That’s how I became a ghostwriter for therapists and other busy professionals. If you want to test it out yourself, to see whether I can take the stress out of writing for you, reach out. I’d love to hear from you.

Everything Changed When. . .

If you’re anything like me, people constantly want to give you advice. They’re quick to tell you how you can improve your life, whether that’s building your business, transforming your body, or creating an ideal romantic relationship. There are millions, if not billions, of advice books in the world because people are convinced they know what’s best. If you pay for their book, course, or some other product, they can show you the way.

Some of this is valid. I don’t know a thing about negotiation so sure, give me some tips. But sometimes, all this advice-giving isn’t helpful. Everything in my life changed as a freelance content writer and ghostwriter for therapists when I stopped following other people’s advice. Or rather, when I filtered out which pieces of advice were applicable to me and which were not.

oakland freelance content writer
Should I listen to advice or not? That’s the question. Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash

Here’s the truth that isn’t very popular: Everyone is different and must forge their own path to some degree. What works for someone else may not work for you. I know it’s seductive to follow someone who will “guarantee” you their results, but they can’t guarantee that. No one can. Your life, your circumstances — even if they look similar — are not the same as someone else’s. For instance, in my field, freelance content writers and ghostwriters are told to market every day, to reach out to potential new leads, to perpetually drum up business. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but that has seldom worked for me. Only maybe one of my clients started working with me as a result of pitching to her. Every other client has come to me directly. How does that happen?!?

For me, it wasn’t even active networking. People found me on LinkedIn, or Google, or we know someone in common. My business doesn’t follow the traditional trajectory of “contact a bunch of people and someone will say yes.” Instead, the universe has communicated to me over and over again to relax and allow myself to receive.

ghost writer for therapists
My strategy is to relax and open myself to receive. Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

When I no longer followed every scrap of advice someone sent my way, everything in my life changed. When I stopped thinking someone else knew more than me about what to do, my freelance content writing and ghostwriting for therapists business blossomed. Again, sometimes it’s important to contact outside experts, but my inner guidance continues to be at play. Why contact this person over that person? I’m the one making that judgment call based on internal guidance and that’s what I’ve learned to trust above all else.

Instead of inundating you with advice, I wish more people said, “You already know what to do.” Or “check in with your intuition. What is it saying?” If more people did that, I wonder what their lives would look like. If there would be more flow and ease. That’s what’s happened for me. Instead of berating myself for not conducting my freelance content writing and ghostwriting for therapists business the way I “should,” I’m doing what’s best for me and that’s made all the difference.

If you’d like to work together, get in touch. Let’s see if we’re a good fit.

Pay Writers What They’re Worth

There’s a lot of exploitation in my industry. There are many individuals and businesses that want to pay writers what amounts to essentially minimum wage (or less). They think $42 for a 1,000-word piece is reasonable (it’s not). Do you know how long it takes to physically write 1,000 words? Hours. Plural. And that’s just the writing, not the researching or editing that makes the piece readable.

Compounding the exploitation problem, there are writers willing to take on that low-paying work. I don’t blame them because I know what it’s like to feel desperate, but unfortunately, the plethora of freelance content writers willing to work for almost nothing means writing is devalued. Individuals and businesses think it’s OK to keep paying these obscenely low rates (again, it’s not). The whole thing aggravates me to no end.

oakland content writer
Writers should earn more than mere pennies. Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

Look, I know these days newspapers and magazines are operating on shoe-string budgets because revenues have nosedived. For them, I have more compassion and understanding because they’re struggling to keep the lights on. (But for the record, even small, local newspapers pay more than $0.04/word, which is what $42 for 1,000 words amounts to.)

No, it’s the businesses that aren’t reliant on ad dollars that anger me. The ones that want me to help them boost their search engine optimization (SEO) so they can continue to rank highly on search engines and bring in customers or clients. The ones that have plenty of money but think so little of my services that they want to get the cheapest price possible.

For perspective, did you know the average house sitter charges $30 to $55 per night? And yes, some people have pet CPR training and other things to justify a higher price, but they didn’t go to school for house sitting. There is no “house sitting degree” or International Association of House Sitters, but a house sitter can make more money for their services than a writer. That’s messed up.

writer for therapists
Some house sitters make more than writers do. Photo by Autri Taheri on Unsplash

I went to school for four years to learn how to be a journalist. I’ve spent the last 16 years honing my skills and applying what I learned not only to journalism writing but also to working as a freelance content writer for small businesses. I studied writing extensively to be able to ghostwrite for therapists and mental health professionals. I pay attention to things like diction and grammar choices so I can mimic the voice of my clients. Don’t I deserve to be paid accordingly?

That’s a rhetorical question because of course I deserve to be paid what I’m worth. But not only me — every person like me. If someone has taken the time and energy to educate themselves, both formally and informally, they should be compensated. If you want to pay someone minimum wage, hire a high school student, not someone with a degree.

If you’re interested in working together, get in touch. I’d be happy to chat.

What I Wish I Knew 10 Years Ago

I was in Las Vegas recently for a bachelorette party and one of our Uber drivers was a real character. He spun a tale about how his father was a Russian assassin that met his mother while on the job and she didn’t find out until after she was pregnant that he was not exclusively a firefighter. The driver regaled us with how he’s sick of soup and can’t eat it because that’s all he had while in Russia until he moved to the U.S. at the age of 10.

One of my friends asked him, “Have you ever eaten mukluks?” and he said, “Yeah, I’ve had mukluks.” It was a trick question because mukluks are high, soft boots worn in the winter.  This guy was yanking our chain, as my dad would say, but he spoke with complete confidence and was an expert bullsh*tter. The thing is, this guy had me fooled. I didn’t know he was lying until later when my friend said mukluks are shoes! Maybe that’s embarrassing but it’s true. I operate in this way because I’m such an honest person it doesn’t occur to me other people are not. It’s kind of ironic then that I’m a journalist because journalists are supposed to be cynical and question everything. (Is it any wonder that I became a ghostwriter for therapists and a content writer for small businesses? Much less skepticism required.)

freelance writer for therapists
It’s important to question claims and not buy them hook, line, and sinker. Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash

For me, what I wish I knew 10 years ago (and have to remind myself of now) is that people lie.  Not only people, but companies because businesses are run by people who, again, aren’t always honest. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen for the hype. “If you hire me, you’ll land a six-figure book deal,” or, “If we work together, you’ll double your income!” There’s also the prevalent, “We’re the No. 1 ____ in the city!” I haven’t necessarily bought a session with these folks, signed up for their course, or purchased their product, but I believe their hype. I have to constantly remind myself if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And/or show me the proof, then I’ll believe you.

For me, my “proof” is all over this website. My work speaks for itself. You can already tell I’m a good writer, or the kind of writer you want to work with, based on my samples. Not only the formal samples but this blog too! I’m a freelance ghostwriter for therapists and busy professionals — I support them (and potentially you!) by using my writing prowess to communicate ideas they don’t have the time or ability to convey. You’ll be able to tell that from the paid sample I require for new clients.

SF content writer
Paid samples are priceless. Photo by fotografierende on unsplash

Other than that, I don’t make promises I can’t keep. Yes, it’s true, some of my clients have been published on GoodTherapy and in book anthologies, but I don’t know if that will be the case for every client. I can’t guarantee visibility but I can guarantee the effort I’ll put in if you’d like to work together. If you want to give it a shot, contact me. I’d love to support you.


Maybe It’s You

I wrote a novel recently — my first ever — and sent it off to 50+ agents, confident someone would snatch it up immediately. After all, I’m already a professional writer so why wouldn’t someone want to sign me? When the first few agents either didn’t respond or said, “No thanks,” my spirits remained high and I assumed the problem was I just hadn’t found the right agent yet. By about the 25th rejection, I started to wonder if the problem was me. After the 50th rejection, I knew it was.

In my naivete, I assumed my writing skills would translate. That because I’ve written so many articles for so many publications, of course I’d be able to write a novel. It was only after numerous rejections that I started to question that belief. I started doing more research and attended a writer’s conference. It was eye-opening, to say the least. I learned precisely what agents are looking for in submissions and realized many of the turnoffs they mentioned were included in my manuscript. Ouch. I realized even though I originally thought someone else was the problem, that wasn’t the case. The problem was me.

ghostwriter for therapists
A little self-reflection goes a long way. Photo by Jalen Terry on Unsplash

I mention this because how often in business (and life) do we assume everyone else is at fault? That they’re the ones who need to change when in actuality you’re the problem? If you find yourself using hyperbolic words like “all,” “always,” or “never,” chances are you’d be better suited looking in the mirror. How could it possibly be true that your bosses are always terrible? Or that all of your colleagues are idiots? It can’t.

I’m reminded of “John” from therapist Lori Gottlieb’s book Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. He proclaimed that everyone else is an idiot and clung steadfastly to that belief. Gottlieb writes:

“When people come to therapy, I’m listening to their narratives but also for their flexibility with them. Do they consider what they’re saying to be the only version of the story – the ‘accurate’ version – or do they know that there are many ways to tell it? Are they aware of what they leave in or out or how they amend their story for the therapist’s ears?”

ghostwriter for therapists
There are multiple perspectives in every situation. Photo by pawel szvmanski on Unsplash

Even though she mentions this in the context of therapy, it also applies in business. Are we being flexible? Do we understand there are many ways to describe a situation? And that perhaps instead of being a hero, we’re a villain? It’s easy to point the finger at someone else, but that’s not grounded in reality, nor is it an empowering way to behave. It’s tempting to fall into a victim mentality, to think something is happening to me, but the truth is, I also have a part to play. Maybe I wasn’t clear in my communication, or I said “yes” when I wanted to say “no.” Maybe I didn’t set a boundary and now I’m resentful. Whatever the situation, it’s important to remember I’m an active participant in my life, including my business life.

We often think of business as being separate from our personal lives, and while that’s true to a degree, it’s also not. We’re still humans when we’re at work. We’re still interacting with one another. We’re still bringing our baggage, our trauma, and our defenses with us. That means our personal lives bleed over into our professional lives. They aren’t really separate. And so the more we do personal development work, the more we engage in self-reflection, the more harmonious and joyful our work life will be.

If you’re interested in partnering together, reach out to me