“Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.” – Ray Bradbury
Yes, since 2004 and even up to now, I still do ghostwriting. What have you—so far it is the only rewarding, quick money-generator as oppose to writing for magazines or any other forms that requires your byline.
I have nothing against writing with my byline on it. Every writer finds ‘pride’ in it when an article or his work is published with his name on it. In fact, there were times in the past that I really do not care whether I get paid or not, as long as my byline there.
When I was writing for a company that deals with small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) in the country—I was excited about the post because by nature, I am a sucker of stories. I consider stories lifted from the surviving and thriving businesses as a stimuli. It pushes me on one hand to do my job and excel on it, too. The struggles and triumphs of these business people do inspire me.
The one setback, I felt bad was when my writing is talked about and the credits went to the one who signed it. A friend once told, “You have so much to give Jude. Why allow these people to use you and take away what is ‘rightfully’ yours?”
My silent answer was—I have to, in order to live as a writer. It provided food on my table and I get paid every 15th and 30th of the month.
People change. After years of writing for someone (don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against writing for someone as a ghostwriter—will explain later), I woke up one morning and realized, I need to step-out-in-faith to do what I really God wants me to do.
While I was talking to my boss, he was like saying that if I didn’t write for them—I wouldn’t get more opportunities like writing assignments. I wanted to borrow Harry Potter’s ‘invisibility cloak’ and disappear right in front of him. The hell, he was like telling me that I owe the company for all the opportunities I got. Excuse my cussing.
Frankly, I came to the company because I was getting bored with my previous company. I was simply offering something for them for free, but they saw ‘something’ in me. They wanted me on board. I did not apply for the post. That is far different from trying to get that post as oppose to offering my expertise.
After that, I have realized it is time to go. It’s of no use to continue hiding from someone else’s shadows anymore. It’s time for me to do it on my own.
Today, I do not have ghostly angst because I only write for someone as copywriter. From ghostwriting to copywriting, I find it much rewarding and encouraging at the same time. The difference is–I do not write for someone if that person would not provide me with at least something—maybe an outline or a rough draft for me to work on. In that way, when I write—it is still her or his idea, not mine. What I do–I just organize and edit the piece.