A lot of the writing community looks down on Ghostwriters. Let’s be honest, we are often regarded as the telemarketers of the literary world. We work for crap pay (if we’re lucky we can get one cent per word), we write the cheesy romances that are available on ebook, and no one really loves us. Our employers have no real respect for us, this is evidenced by the pay, the fact that we can work seventy hours a week for about two hundred dollars, the literary community frowns on us, and nobody really understands that you have to do what you have to do to make ends meet.
Let me share with you some of my experiences in the ghostwriting world. I feel like a whore sometimes, an underpaid whore who doesn’t even get to see people enjoy my work. I hate the fact that people have no respect for me or what I do. I love to write, but I don’t like being told what I’m supposed to write. It’s enough to drive anyone crazy.
My bosses dictate what I write, giving me advice about plot, typically it is some overdone plot device that has been overused and isn’t fun to write about. I write a lot of trashy romances, writing twenty thousand words in a little over a week for these people. They don’t have my name on them, and I’m kind of glad about that, because what I write for these people is crap. It’s crappy and I don’t like it, but the public seems to eat it up, so they keep hiring me, and it almost keeps food on the table.
You see, as an aspiring writer, there aren’t a lot of jobs that you’re qualified for. With other problems going on, two rambunctious girls, a husband with PTSD and fighting with VA, college classes, it’s almost impossible to have a regular job. Caring for the mentally ill is a full time job by itself, so I ghostwrite for slave wages so that others can make money. Before you knock ghostwriters please think about the people actually doing the writing, these people don’t get any respect, they’re mostly college students or single parents just trying to make ends meet and getting screwed over for it.
Let’s be honest however, it isn’t all bad. I have learned quite a few things from this job. I’ve developed the ability to take criticism and use it in the manner that it’s been given instead of taking it personally. I understand changing things that requiring changing. I’m getting better with discipline as well. It’s important to be able to force yourself to write and that’s what I have to do in order for my family to eat. These things have helped me out, they’ve helped my process to improve. To be honest I’ve logged onto Amazon.com where I’ve gotten some stories published and found my books, eager to find out what people are writing about me. I’ve taken the constructive criticism and used the advice to improve my other work. I love the fact that I am able to develop the thick skin required to be an artist. Some people are just insulting for the sake of being insulting, and that’s the truth of things, but occasionally someone actually gives some good advice and I use those tips to improve myself.
I am working on my own story as I get the time, but the work for me moves slowly, because I have bosses that are breathing down my neck, eager for my crap to post online.