Remember those carefree summer days when you used to play baseball down at the playground with the neighborhood kids? The sun was hazy soft, and the white picket fences were like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. The ice cream truck would circle around playing an anthem that sounded like a DJs mash-up of Donkey Kong and Q-Bert, and it always seemed to rattle your concentration when you powered up to the plate. Even though all the neighborhood kids had gathered for a quick game of balls and strikes, there was never enough players, right? There was always a ghosty on first. In the world of freelance writing, that guest blogger you’re dying to hire to write The Top 5 Traditions of Summer is your ghosty on first.
The client and their ghostwriting service, or ghostwriter, have a unique and symbiotic relationship. In fact, it can either be the beginning of a beautiful friendship, a la Casablanca, or it can be more like MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction). However, the hands-down greatest thing about the relationship is the transparency. If a writer feels they’ve hacked their way through an assignment, they are happy not to have their name attached to it. If a client doesn’t agree with the opinion or tone of a blog or article, then they’re instantly off the hook with a simple…“Oh, yeah, it was a guest blogger. A ghostwriter. We won’t use them again.” No harm, no foul. Everyone is safe and saves face in the schoolyard pick-up game of content and creation.
At the same time, what if that ghosty on first slides into home plate and wins a nailbiter in the ninth inning. What if he cracks a 3/2 pitch out of the playground and through the front window of that relentlessly chirpy ice cream truck. Well, then he’s a hero and a game changer; in the world of ghostwriting, he’s brought something new, fresh and original to the client or company. He shares their sensibility and he’s got vision. He might be a guest, but boy oh boy that ghosty can write.
Just don’t end up like Ewan McGregor, a ghostwriter in Roman Polanski’s movie of the same name. If you think rejections, revisions and client/writer egos are a problem, that’s nothing in comparison to the plots and espionage that freelancer had to face when penning the memoirs of the former Prime Minister.
Damon H is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.