By in Writing

Ghost Writing yeah or nay?

What are your feelings with regard to ghost writing?

I have received a request to work with someone as ghost writer for their next project. I am torn between snapping his hand off to grab the offer or use my knowledge for my own benefit while I am relatively new to the craft.

If I agree to take the offer it will mean devoting a lot of time working on something that I cannot even include in my resume and I feel that could be a bad thing while building a portfolio of work.

On the other hand, I amore what my English tutor would call 'peculiarily embarrassed ' or broke to the average person in the real world. I cannot really afford to turn down the work but the project will not pay enough to live on without considerable supplementary earnings.

The project is in one of my areas of (limited in my eyes) qualified knowledge and one which I am really interested in but I feel it could be too much pressure to strive for excellence for someone else's work, given my poor health at the moment.

I can think of lots of pros for taking the offer and an equal number of cons and feel stuck in a mental tennis match.

What would you do?

Don't panic I am not looking for someone to make the decision for me but feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance

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Feisty56 wrote on January 2, 2015, 10:09 PM

You have a lot to weigh on both sides of this decision, that's for sure. As far as your professional resume goes, while it's true you won't be able to list the project by title, you could request of your client that a letter of recommendation/reference on his or her part at the end of the project come along with your monetary payment. The client wouldn't have to mention the project specifically, but could offer information such as that you were easy to work with, good communication skills, meets and exceeds dealines and expectations -- that sort of thing.

luisga814 wrote on January 2, 2015, 10:11 PM

I accepted before ghostwriting. Just like making a thesis of others. They will just supply to me the needed materials and I am the one doing that all from the scratch. From chapter one to five. They will just pay me thru Paypal.

mrsmerlin wrote on January 2, 2015, 10:17 PM

Thanks for the wonderful idea, I will ask about that when I speak to him next

mrsmerlin wrote on January 2, 2015, 10:22 PM

This would be for an academic project which will test my grammar skills as well as my formal style and terminology. Do you not find this more or less stressful than writing for yourself?

scheng1 wrote on January 2, 2015, 10:39 PM

If you are the employer offering to pay ghostwriters, you will have different perspective. Perhaps you can hire ghostwriter to help you in writing the book.

PattyTherre wrote on January 3, 2015, 12:34 AM

I ghost write a lot. No one knows it is me behind some of the things they read. I don't mind as I have a full resume of my own work. I like it because I enjoy making words and phrases match the person who is supposedly saying them. I usually get to know the person a bit first and then I tear their stuff apart and put it back together again. I would take the job. It's a great learning experience.

Ruby3881 wrote on January 3, 2015, 4:47 AM

You do sound like you want to take the job, given that it's interesting and will provide a reliable source of income. I can see why you'd be reluctant, though. Do you think you can afford to shift anything in your schedule around, and maybe offer to do the ghost writing over a slightly longer period of time? That might allow you to continue building up your public persona while you are also shoring up your professional writing credits.

And yes, as Feisty56 says above, do ask about getting a reference from the client. Even if the specifics can't be mentioned, there's no good reason why you can't still use this client to report on the aquality of your writing, your professionalism and respect for deadlines, etc.

Ruby3881 wrote on January 3, 2015, 4:49 AM

I really like the idea of just re-writing what the client has put on paper. Do you have any advice, Patty, for writers who might like to find some ghost writing work to get started?

luisga814 wrote on January 3, 2015, 4:54 AM

Since I only did ghostwriting for thesis. My dream is to write fiction books. Hoping so, that one of the professional writers can invite me to write their one of the chapters of their fiction book.

bestwriter wrote on January 3, 2015, 6:58 AM

iwriter is one such site where we write for requesters. They pay for the work and therefore we have no right over it.

mrsmerlin wrote on January 3, 2015, 7:02 AM

Another good suggestion, thanks for your input. I think I do want to take the work but I am trying to justify the 'cons' to myself

mrsmerlin wrote on January 3, 2015, 7:05 AM

This is why I asked for advice here, it allows the advice of experienced writers, thank you

mrsmerlin wrote on January 3, 2015, 7:06 AM

I am sorry but I do not understand your reply but thank you for your help

mrsmerlin wrote on January 3, 2015, 7:08 AM

Thanks for the link, I will probably have a look on there to check what contracts normally specify so that I know what I am getting into

bestwriter wrote on January 3, 2015, 7:43 AM

There are individual requesters who publish their projects in three categories. You could attempt the categories for beginners as unless you reach a particular level you cannot tackle the other categories. The beginners category has projects that pay you around 2.4 dollars on an average for a 400 worded article. You are allowed to do research and write in your own words.

zabelle51 wrote on January 3, 2015, 9:57 AM

I have done it but think of it as just a money making opportunity it will not benefit your career because you don't get the byline. I have regretted it as a writer because it is like selling your soul but if it is easy work and you need the money, go for it. As I said, I have done it many times to make a living.

maramadalina wrote on January 3, 2015, 4:20 PM

I did this job some years ago, before having a full time job as journalist. I can't say that's difficult but you earn little money.

mrsmerlin wrote on January 4, 2015, 9:22 PM

That sounds really interesting. As soon as I have fired off my OU assignment I will certainly look into that, thanks

mrsmerlin wrote on January 4, 2015, 9:24 PM

Its the selling my soul bit that is one of the cons for me - it is about Art History a subject I know I could write several books on as I have degrees in the subject. I am also very aware that I will have to write everything from his point of view which is not necessarily the same as mine - in fact we disagree quite strongly on some topics so it would be a challenge. I just can't make up my mind whether that challenge is good or not

mrsmerlin wrote on January 4, 2015, 9:25 PM

I know in advance what the money would be and it is an interesting offer but I'm just not sure

arthurchappell wrote on January 5, 2015, 11:55 AM

I'd hate not being able to take credit for my writing - It depends on the money I guess - good luck if you decide to go ahead with the project

suzzy3 wrote on January 5, 2015, 4:23 PM

Yes it is a bit more cash but not enough to do much with. Why give someone else the glory it is your work and you won't get recognised for it. I would want my name on it.