“No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helped you.” – Althea Gibson
It can feel weird to hire a ghostwriter.
When we imagine CEO’s, educators, doctors, and politicians writing the book of their careers, we imagine them sitting at heavy wooden desks and typing 400 hundred pages of unadulterated mastery.
We often confuse them with those rabid, wine-drinking novelists.
But for anyone who has dedicated their careers to medicine, education, or business, many don’t have time to sit down and write a book. Or even the first chapter.
The ghostwriter’s clients are movers and shakers. They’re creators, innovators, and leaders. These people work dedicated, active careers. They feel guilty because they believe they should write their own books, but they can’t see themselves carving out the time, or untangling the sentences.
That’s why they call in the ghostwriter.
Here are a few reasons why you might find yourself needing a ghostwriter – and why that’s totally okay.
1. You simply don’t have time.
Maybe you’ve had this idea for years. Maybe you’ve wondered over Saturday morning coffee if you’re ever going to get around to writing “that damn book”, and you imagine yourself on your deathbed, dramatically grabbing your son’s hand and croaking, “SON!” (because that’s how you talk when you’re dying), “I SHOULD HAVE WRITTEN THAT BOOK! I HATH SQUANDERED MY PRECIOUS TIME-” and then the EKG flatlines.
Or, you stand outside Barnes and Noble (I imagine it’s raining) and you see bookshelves full of shiny hardbacks written by professionals, businesspeople, CEO’s – people just like you – and you think, “How did they even have time to write a book? Maybe they don’t like their kids.”
But they DO like their kids, which is why they hired an expert writer. It’s easier that way. Fewer sleepless nights. More barbecues.
2. Writing is not your forte.
People tell me they’re more comfortable saving people in the ER than sitting down at the blank page, because the blank page is scary. Good writing takes time. It’s not easy. There are hundreds of ways to write each sentence, hundreds of ways to start a blog post, hundreds of ways to end a book. There are silly rules, like “Don’t end a sentence with a preposition!” There are nuances in speech that writers know to capture on the page.
Good writing is a craft that takes years to sharpen. I know a man who piloted helicopters in the Vietnam War, and he says that writing is harder. (When I relay this to my clients with a laugh, they unblinkingly side with the helicopter pilot.)
So if you find yourself with dry mouth when you have to draft a proposal or a letter, know that you are never alone in this life.
3. You’re not sure where to start or if you’re even “doing it right.”
Ghostwriters aren’t just expert wordsmiths, they’re information organizers, SEO jockeys, marketing gurus, editors, researchers, and content curators. They can capture your voice while making sure your book makes organizational sense. They can back you up with research. They provide a fresh, clear perspective, because they see your content as the audience does. They make the message resonate.
In my ghostwriting projects, I’ve organized information into content strategies and book outlines. I’ve taken all the floating confetti pieces and shaped them together to make a whole, cohesive message. I’ve ramped up my client’s SEO through optimized blog posts. I’ve suggested ways to further engage the audience – whether that be through end-of-chapter “tool kits” or ways to get your blog post in front of new eyes.
The Trust, The Honor, The Big Ideas of an Entire Career.
You might think, “Yeah well a ghostwriter doesn’t care about my message as much as I do.” This is blessedly false. I toss and turn at night thinking about your message. I drive down the highway and think about your message. I bite into a pizza and think about your message. I see articles and books that remind me of your work, and I email you about it. Why? Because it’s a huge honor to be trusted like that. When people and businesses trust you to form their words, it’s not something to take lightly.
A good ghostwriter cares about your project and wants you to succeed. They will leverage any and all knowledge they have to strengthen your project. A good writer could be the difference between okay content, and bright shiny hard-hitting stuff that people will remember and want to share.
A client asked me, “And you’re okay with that? Writing all these chapters and books, without getting any credit?”
These are your ideas. This is your intellectual property. You come to me with the big ideas of your entire career. I get those ideas on the page with clarity and eloquence. I get to know you, so the words reflect your personality and voice.
As the CEO, doctor, and educator spend years honing their expertise, so does the writer. Together, we create clear voices in the pages of history.