Ghostwriting Or Writing? Make Your Own Career Choice!

Do you believe in ghosts? Alright, let’s change the question a little bit. Can you guess the income of a ghost? Don’t be surprised… you read it right! Ghosts do earn. In fact, they are creative too. Alright! Stop thinking too much. I will relieve this suspense.

Writers and digital marketers must be well aware of the role of a ghostwriter. But here is a little brief about this creative profile for those who don’t understand it.

Who is A Ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter is the one who writes a book, blog, article, speech, manuscript, lyrics, etc.  that is officially credited to someone else. The services of a ghostwriter are availed by celebrities, political leaders, executives, etc. who often have some great stories or ideas but need a writer to frame them in words. Ghostwriters are often hired to work on biographies, magazine articles, memoirs of public figures etc.

Difference Between A Writer And Ghostwriter

If you believe that you are a great writer and passionate about writing, you will surely wish to pursue it as a profession. Who doesn’t want to convert their passion into a profession? But is it enough? Often, people believe that a writer is good if he/she possesses following skills.

  • Excellent grammar,
  • Great sentence formations, and
  • Exceptional editing skills.

There is no doubt that above skills are a must in a Writer but are you missing something? Writers are free birds who lets you believe in their imaginations. They don’t just write down a scene of a story but displays the complete visual in their words.

Many a time, stories are inspired by real-life events or experiences. But sharing an experience and creating a story around it are two different things. A writer can do it but a ghostwriter bridges the gap between ideation and writing. A story can be ideated or experienced by one person but it is not necessary that the person possesses great writing skills too. So, in such a situation the ghostwriter takes up the charge.

David Mitchell, a renowned author once said,

The act of memory is an act of ghostwriting.

This is the beauty of ghostwriting. Ghostwriters are the one who shapes the ideas of someone else in their words. Because the story written by ghostwriters are ideated by someone else so the credit of their work is also given to the one who hires them. Although, ghostwriters are often paid with huge amounts of the work. Basically, the role of a ghostwriter is to work on the ideas or experiences of an individual. They help that individual to publish their experiences and ideas through their writings.

Freelance writings v/s ghostwriting

Ghostwriting is often confused with freelance writing. However, it is not true that every ghostwriter is a freelance writer.

A freelance writer is a self-employed writer who works for one or more organizations. They get remuneration for their writings and may get credits for their work too. On the other hand, ghostwriters may also work for multiple organization but they never get any credits. They only receive the remuneration of the work. It is also not necessary for a ghostwriter to work on a self-employed basis. They may work as a full-time employee of a single organization too.

However, newbies of freelance writing often get ghostwriting projects. Thus, it is a huge income generator for freelance writers.

Kinds of ghostwriting

Ghostwriting seems to be a single style of writing. But it can further be categorized. Take a look!

Clubbing ideas

This is the most popular forms of ghostwriting. An individual shares his/her ideas, experiences, or a rough draft, which is later written by the ghostwriter. A ghostwriter simply clubs these ideas and experiences or clean the rough draft and provide it back to the individual.

Outlining ideas

In this form of ghostwriting, a ghostwriter is supposed to draft the ideas in his/her own words. This form may involve thorough research and additional information from the ghostwriter. However, final approval of the work is in the hands of the client providing writing assignment to the ghostwriter.

Writer’s ideas

Here ghostwriters get the freedom to pen down their own ideas. They are asked to create ideas, draft their own unique stories, and offer it to the client in return for remuneration but no credits. For example, a writer working on your favorite celebrities official twitter account lies under this category.

Fears of ghostwriters

Every profession has its pros and cons. Ghostwriter’s profile is no different. Even story developers get nightmares. So, here we have 3 major fears that ghostwriters encounter.

Will I ever get recognized for my work?

Ghostwriting assignments may fill some extra pennies to writer’s pockets but it may leave a sense of dissatisfaction too. It is often seen that ghostwriters wish to switch their profile to get credits for their work. After all, creative people are obsessed with their work and its recognition. (Although, it’s not true in all cases. People are different!)

Facing judgments

Ghostwriters often receive statements and questions like,

  • How can you prove that you are a writer if you can’t show a single write-up that gives you credit?
  • It’s not your idea. So stop calling yourself a creative person!
  • You’re not a storyteller. You just write somebody else’s ideas.

Facing such judgments about the profile is quite depressing to ghostwriters.

Can I call it my sample?

Writers are often asked to provide samples before assigning projects. These samples help clients to understand the writing skills of an individual. But as ghostwriters do not get credit for their work so they roll between the two questions. Should I send my published work as a sample or should I generate a new one?

Mixed opinions about ghostwriting

There have been mixed opinions about ghostwriting. Some take it as a challenge to work on someone else’s ideas while others get disappointed in getting no credits. These opinions are even reflected in the statements of some great authors and influencers of this industry. Below are the examples of this conflict.

Of all the advantages that ghostwriting offers, one of the greatest must be the opportunity that you get to meet people of interest Andrew Crofts

The trouble with ghostwriting is that it raises the issue of whether the president is in a state of diminished responsibility for what he says. Does he actually grasp the implications of the words he speaks? – Jonathan Raban

So, now when you know what does a ghostwriter do, it is completely your call to accept it as a profession. You are wise enough to choose between money for no credits or money with credits.

Let me know your choice! 🙂

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