Between the mortgage, car loan, and heating bill, what struggling ghostwriter wouldn’t dream of being granted three wishes by a genie in a magic lamp? Scratch that! You want a two-week holiday in the sun, a night on the town, and someone to take the kids off your hands…indefinitely.
But let’s stop for a second and walk a mile in the clients’ shoes. Let’s call it empathy, transference, a day in the life of that long-standing customer you tap out blogs for every Tuesday like clockwork but whose face you’ve never seen, whose personal life and business day remain veiled in mystery. What does he or she dream of?
1. After Google tinkered and toyed with the algorithm, Frank dreamed he was in south west China on a Panda hunting expedition. He’d never fired a gun before, but he knew the trophy hide of a Giant Panda bear would be sure to attract business, especially amongst the sporting elite.
2. Later, Frank dreamt he was ice-skating with a group of penguins in Antarctica. The day started out peacefully; however, in no time at all the penguins ganged up on Frank, taunting and bullying him. Insults were shouted, and a fight ensued. Frank tore off the Emperor’s flipper only to find keywords tumble out like stuffing.
3. Marketing and advertising used to be so easy. All you needed to do was plant a 50-foot billboard on the side of a highway, or create a 4-second radio jingle or TV slogan. Got Milk? Where’s the Beef? Great Taste, Less Filling. Today, it takes 500-words of SEO-rich content to do what three or four words once did.
4. The panic began at the root of her scalp. Her sweaty palms left hand prints on her office desk. The thought hit her like a thunderbolt from Zeus, a hammer tossed by Thor: What is the Internet? How does it really work?
5. Revision request
6. Revision request
7. Too many adverbs
8. Too many adjectives. This is a company blog not a freshman poetry class.
9. Hiring content writers should be easy, thought Suzie. They’re a dime a dozen, after all.
10. Fritz O’ Hara had a crush on Sally, his ghostwriter of 10 years. Although he’d never seen her in person, he knew by her beautiful tone and word choice that she was the one. Strong, tender, persuasive, intelligent, Sally was all those things and more. Therefore, it didn’t surprise Fritz O’ Hara when he fell asleep after a long day only to find him and Sally, hand in hand, frolicking in the English countryside, roses in midsummer bloom. But as soon as Fritz took her hand, Sally began to slowly disappear. She was a ghost after all, and they were in England, the birthplace of Gothic fiction.
11. He dreamt, and in his dream there was music. No, it wasn’t Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. It was a riff on Jay- Z: “I got 99 problems but my ghostwriter ain’t one.”
Damon H is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.