Ruminations From Ghostwriting Space.

Official definitions vary when defining Copywriting or Ghostwriting — but this is what I found scouring the internet:

Ghostwriter: “hired to write literary or journalistic works, speeches, or other texts that are officially credited to another person as the author”

Copywriter: “hired to write for the purpose of advertising or other forms of marketing. The product, called copy, is written content that aims to increase brand awareness and ultimately persuade a person or group to take a particular action”

In many ways these definitions are interchangeable. That’s why for the purposes of this post, I’ll stick to calling it “ghostwriting”; because there’s far too much overlap. I’ll also clarify that my thoughts in this post are reflective of my own experience with ghostwriting and not everyone else’s (obviously).

Anyone with a crippling desire to see firm lines drawn between copywriting and ghostwriting can simply add that quandary to their list of homework.

d7zsk9j-23d4d1c1-0d2d-48f3-89c8-3ac049f79ff5

#1 Oh dearie me, So much darn personality

There are a number of reasons why people hire ghostwriters. A lack of time or a lack of charisma to eloquently put their point across. It makes sense, none of us are good at everything — except me, I know everything. (lol relax, that was a joke)

I’ve come across clients that — (how do I put this nicely?) — have terrible personalities.

Having a personality I don’t like isn’t what makes me attribute it as “terrible” . Instead, it’s having a personality IRL that is far removed from who you appear to be when you are blogging.

There’s this lady I did a writing gig for a few months back; a kindergarten teacher. I was drawn to her job offer because she struck me as kind and nurturing. Dealing with kids often requires someone with a level head — how wrong I was, because the beast that lay behind her keyboard was anything but.

If “irrational” could materialize into a human being I imagine it would look much like her.

See, before I do any job, I read what someone has written to capture their voice and understand their head-space.

Short version: What she wrote, and who she was outside her blog were two completely different people.

I immediately understood why she needed me (or anyone else) to inject life into her blog. Must be exhausting keeping up appearances. 

Suffice it to say I dropped that gig before it could go any further. Ghostwriting can be lucrative but not at the cost of my sanity. My only hope is that she treats her students with a little more respect; for their sake.

(Don’t worry, she doesn’t know about me or this blog. Doing so would require far too much personality)

#2 Most Are Afraid to be Themselves

Links with the first point. Ghostwriters are skilled, but as much as stellar writing is valued by readers, I believe it’s far more important to be yourself. Especially if you want organic growth.

People often under-estimate a reader’s intelligence. I’ve been writing long enough to know there’s an unseen flow that comes with words drawn from a real place. Readers catch on when you doctor content to reel in the most amount of clicks.

I’m not saying don’t use SEO on your blog. But definitely have more Y-O-U than S-E-O in your posts. At some point you have to consider if you want SEO algorithms to carry your voice or if you want your voice to tame SEO algorithms.

#3 Credit

I don’t have a problem with the absence of credit. I’m a Ghostwriter for a reason.

It’s also important to remember that as impressive as “your” creative work is when I give it to you and you publish it; I’ll likely have a far better piece cooking in the oven by then.

I may have written in place of the client, but that entire journey (from start to finish) leaves me filled with opportunities to see the world differently.

Either through the client’s voice or through the subject matter they are passionate about.

(This whole thing does wonders for characterization in stories) so no loss there.

d86lru0-20de7371-beb0-4acb-a4e5-5770fedf3dfe

#4 Power Trip

Getting a high from seeing work I’m responsible for boom past the stratosphere? I wish.

Thing is, I know my work is good. All that’s left is for the client and their audience to come to the same conclusion.

Call me arrogant and I’ll politely to ask you to repeat yourself from a mountaintop; because from there I’ll likely hear you less.

Dear reader, I work damn hard. It’s only natural that the results of that hard work show themselves. And if it doesn’t do well? So what? 

As soon as I send a piece to its owner, I rarely think about it or even check how it was received — it’s none of my business. I’m already thinking about the next thing.

If you see a ghostwriter in your midst getting a rush from something so simple?

Well, it’s safe to assume esteem issues are the least of their problems.

#5 Surprise-surprise. I don’t like people.

It’s a story as old as this blog quite honestly.

Let me fill you in on my ghostwriting methodology and you’ll see what I mean.

To secure writing gigs I have an intermediary who meets clients on my behalf. Talks to them — engages with all their feelings, dreams and what-not. From there, I take the resulting transcript and pay attention to how the client chooses to carry themselves. 

The next step is checking out their work. There’s always a golden thread in how people write; a permeating theme. You’ll find it if you’re lucky — or if they’re consistent.

You’ll soon come to realize that people tend to go all over the place with what they say (as a result of hiring too many ghostwriters or trend chasing). That then leaves me with the aforementioned transcript as the only thing I have to find a shred of their “true” selves. 

I prefer going about jobs like this because It allows me to see things more clearly.

It allows me to sieve out parts of the transcript that are relevant without having to hear about how Aunt Carol is snorting lines again or how Peter got knocked out cold at a feminist rally.

I suppose the greatest benefit with this approach is how it lessens the likelihood of me engaging with irrational kindergarten teachers that just want to see the world burn. 

Win-win.

#6 Ethical implications

“You talk about authenticity and yet you write for others?”

Yes. Because as I said before, some people have incredible ideas but find themselves unable to express them on paper. Either because of anxiety or disabilities.

See, I love ghostwriting for clients who are unabashedly themselves. It brings me inner joy.

But I have a line though:

I don’t write articles to sell products or services I don’t personally recommend. Writing authentically for a client with a hidden agenda is a serious no-no.

To some of these people, ghostwriters are numbers on a spreadsheet. I don’t hold it against them; if that’s what gets them off they can do that in their free time.

They just shouldn’t try to sneak one under us ghostwriters.

d9xtlp0-94fa66fb-5463-4af6-a599-4baefb20cf5b

*******

It’s funny how despite my desire to stay far away from interaction, I end up studying people and learning more about them in my free time. What can I say, people are fun to observe — it just becomes a problem when I have to participate in their reality for extended periods of time.

I should also clarify that I see ghostwriting as a hobby. I earn from it because I’m good at it. But I don’t see myself ghostwriting every chance I get; if I can help it, it will always stay a side thing.

I hear many interesting stories from ghostwriters about their clients. If you have one such story, I would love to hear it. There are some crazy people out there.

– O.D. ©2021

Art by: hyamei

Featured Art: SuperPhazed

References:

Fuse, B. 2019. Ghostwriting and Copywriting: Are there really any differences? . Available at: https://baynetfuse.medium.com/ghostwriting-and-copywriting-are-there-really-any-difference-f61ec8b844d4 . Last accessed 29 September 2021.

Fiore, G. 2020. Ghostwriting or Copywriting: what are the differences? . Available at: https://www.fountainpencreator.com/ghostwriting_or_copywriting_what_are_the_differences/ . Last accessed 29 September 2021.

Hollow Dragons.

Absolute understanding of people is overrated.

The brickwork inlaid on the walls that surround me

Is enough to satisfy the lifetime curiosity of any aspiring bureaucratic fetishist.

Any who choose to abandon their lives to chisel my walls —

Will, in so doing, come to learn more about themselves

Than they’ll ever do about me.

My core is mine, and mine alone.

Not a myopic curiosity to cure existential doldrums.

If it’s all the same to you,

I’d like to keep it that way.

– O.D. ©2021

Art by:  ChaosFissure

The Perfect Way To Make Friends On WordPress.

See, the thing I absolutely love about the internet is that everything we read is true. Seriously.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at the advice I’m about to give and see for yourself. It’s full-proof; there’s literally no way anyone can dispute what I’m about to say.

In five easy steps I’m going to show you how to:

Make friends on WordPress, Pay your rent, Build your following, Get your ex back and ultimately Ascend to godhood.

It’s real easy actually. There’s a reason I have a religion titled after me:

just_like_that__by_pascalcampion_d8o147v-fullview

Spam comment sections baby!

Wanna promote your blog?

Scout the blogosphere for people with the most followers and proceed to lace their domains with shameless plugs. It doesn’t matter who, what or where their blog is.

What matters are the stats.

Stats, people. Stats maketh the individual. They are the most viable digital currency we’ll use as tithe for your shrine.

Don’t bother saying “hi”. No-one productive has time for that.

I understand your concern. But It’s not disrespectful, in any way, to spam the comment section of someone you barely know with your lovely content.

Lord knows their comment section needed a little greasing.

After-all, your stuff is far more important. You have a message.

A message the rest of the world needs to hear. Why waste time with greetings at the cost of our own efficiency.

Friends? No, they are Stats. Are you even listening to me?

Do it, trust me. No-one minds. AT ALL.

Copy and Paste. Plagiarism was an inside job.

Writers are a so dumb. Ugh, I can’t even.

You could round up every writer on the planet right now, and none of them would measure up to a quarter of our InTelLigEncE.

No-one picks up on plagiarism. It’s a myth created by our corporate overlords to sell software. Don’t give credit for work you’re clearly just “borrowing”.

In fact, this is how you can build a sustainable career as a writer/blogger. By stealing repurposing ideas.

Who has time to form original ideas when you can just take from others. Let’s be honest, you’ll make better use of them anyway.

I know what I’m saying sounds shady, but it’s not. Why?

Because I said so.

Regurgitate. Cement Frequencies.

Stop yourself from having personal opinions about anything.

In fact, if you have a personality, you’ve probably taken it waay too far with the blogging.

Trust me — just harp on what’s considered popular and say what’s already being said. By doing this, you keep yourself intertwined with the politically correct. It’s safe and warm there. Like bed covers on a Monday morning.

Writing/Blogging isn’t about taking risks. It’s about saying what everyone else is saying, in the same exact way, with no deviations. Because the root of good content is content that stays the same across all mediums. Creativity is overrated.

(Sometimes I think I’m too nice sharing all this advice for free) 

Don’t interact with your readers. And for the love of all that is holy don’t connect with the blogging community. 

Straight up. You’re too good for those peons. And they should give you the respect you deserve. Responding to Earthlings is offering them a gift. It’s like their birthday.

You don’t want to make every day their birthday — otherwise it loses meaning.

Leave them wanting. Be that rare commodity.

You are an aspiring god after-all — Act like one. *shivers excitedly* I can already see it now. All those losers will be running to you. Wanting more.

Remember: You’re better than all of them in every single way. That’ll definitely show em.

Oomph! No-one questions our authority.

You Are A god.

I had to remind you in case you forgot. The thing about us knowing everything is that nothing anyone else says matters.

We have awakened and we are done learning. As such, you should lash when anyone tries to offer you advice that puts a wrench in our ultimate reality.

“How Dare They”. Am-i-rite?

Your blog is your domain. The peons don’t get to back-talk. They get to listen and appreciate the gift that is your existence.

***

d82u68x-fd92a308-2e0b-47f2-8a2a-08cdac0e8caa

Wanted to stop the post after the above line, but then I remembered It’s my responsibility to make sure no-one reads this unironically.

Last thing I need on my conscience is someone taking my satire seriously and thinking its okay to do any of the things I mentioned.

I don’t know the alchemy for a perfect blogging experience, but I do know it’s important to:

Respect your fellow bloggers.

Connect (If you want to)

Be authentic.

Give credit where it’s due.

Have fun.

You’ll meet crappy people, obviously. It’s to be found in every community. But try not to let that stop you from enjoying yourself.

I’ve met some lovely people here. They’ve seen my ups and my many, many downs. And despite that, they continue to support and read my work. Sometimes I wonder why lol

I don’t say it much but “I appreciate you guys and gals”.  ❤

– O.D. ©2021

Art by: PascalCampion

Disenchant.

Have you begun to see the world

If it has yet to break your heart?

– O.D. ©2021

Art by:  Carnegriff

A-Sexuality Reality.

Apart from people automatically assuming you’re gay? Everything as an a-sexual is fine lol. I don’t have a problem with gay people (obviously) but it’s annoying when my lack of a sexual appetite leads people to conclude I’m gay.

Because its unfathomable in their tiny little minds that someone can live without craving sex.

Please don’t embarrass yourself by assuming this. I like to believe we’re all a little more aware. But I suppose I’ve been guilty of thinking some things are common knowledge in a world full of diverse individuals.

— the other day I was accused of being “too woke” for simply checking on a co-worker who seemed sad. That my generation is too obsessed with how people feel and that we’re too sensitive. The guy was obviously sniffing his own pheromones, I think he just didn’t like someone other than him receiving attention.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with checking whether someone is okay. And it shouldn’t hurt anyone else in the vicinity when we care about other people’s feelings. Right?

Well “Wrong!” according to them. 

Point is, our world is full of all types — I’m open to toxic people existing — there’s nothing I can do about that. I just try not to stick around them any longer than I have to.

Going back to my experience with A-sexuality.

It’s important to note that I’m one of many on the spectrum of a-sexuals. There are A-sexuals who only desire sex when they are emotionally attuned with their partner. There are a-sexuals who are virgins and have no desire of ever experiencing sex.

Me?

I fall in the camp of those that have had sex but simply don’t find it enjoyable.

I want to touch on some of the misconceptions people often have about me as an A-sexual. Stick around, you might just learn something.

dc4f64i-4228aaaf-dd74-42fb-8b72-ab1c7bbe7940

Misconception #1 – I’m not waiting for Ms. Right 

It won’t take Ms. Right to change my mind on this. I’ve had enough sex to know I don’t enjoy it. Where others find pleasure in having sex with their partner; I find a nuisance.

I would rather do anything else than have sex — like entering VR or pretending to understand everything Nietzsche.   

 

Misconception #2 – It’s not out of trauma 

Sex, when you’re participating (and not enjoying) looks and feels incredibly sloppy and ridiculous.  Just two independent nervous systems covered in sweaty flesh, rubbing and thumping against each other.

Perhaps my first sexual experience was terrible…

And then the next one …

And then the next one …

And then the next one …

And then the — you get it. They can’t all have been sequentially terrible. And I’m not about to have sex again just to confirm if I really, really, don’t like it.

It took time but I just had to admit to myself that’s it’s okay not to enjoy sex as much as everyone else. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Wanna know what’s wrong? Ridiculing anyone who doesn’t share your voracious sexual appetite.

Perhaps if you weren’t obsessed with your next lay you’d be attending to your fugue state of causality problems. But don’t worry, I’ll do the thinking for the both of us.

 

Misconception #3 – I don’t hate sex. 

“You don’t!? But you just said –“

Relax. I may not enjoy sex, but I understand it’s value from a purely utilitarian perspective. We need reproduction for the human species; and if all of us were a-sexual then that would be a massive “yikes”.

I don’t mind reading or even talking about how much someone may enjoy sex. Just don’t go out of your way to ask me what I think about sex unless you’re looking for a counter-weight.

 

Misconception #4 – I get attracted too

Not obvious, but I have my own preferences. I notice when a lady has nice eyes or beautiful lips or hair. My thoughts however, don’t deviate towards kissing said lips.

I appreciate features how I would a rosy sunset. From afar —through a telescope — stalking your room from across the street.

That was a joke.

I hope 😉 

 

Misconception#5 – Wow. So you’re A-sexual? How does it feel?

I find this question funny because it’s often asked as if I have a condition that needs fixing.

You know, I could also ask how it feels to do the sloppy-mish-mash-under-the-covers thing.

I was curious about sex — had it. And when I was done with that fleshy disaster, some part of me wished I hadn’t. 

If you’re curious how life is as an a-sexual, I can tell you that there’s a lot of clarity. You have to realize it’s a little difficult admitting to yourself (especially at a younger age) that this thing most people around you enjoy, isn’t fun for you. That there’s nothing wrong with that.

Sharing this here means I’m done with the heavy lifting. It’s something I’m now at peace with.

I do think if someone enjoys sex they should dive right in and have a blast. I’m not trying to shame anyone who does by saying all of this.

 

*****

What I’m more interested in knowing is what your experience has been with other a-sexuals you’ve met. Pleasant? Unpleasant? Indifferent? Let me know.

 

– O.D. ©2021

 

Art by:  mynameistran

Phantasm.

I tried …

But despite my best attempts; I lost her.

Lost her to cyberspace and its pervasive illusion of success.

“Success” — Ushered and perpetuated by pseudo-woke

Profit-driven messiahs preaching prosperity to conflicted souls —

All to fuel a cyclical engine that produces and consumes

For the sake of producing and consuming.

She was reeled in by a soft sell of Poyais —

Hypnotized by a happiness alluded to by corporations intent on selling products

They themselves would never wish to use.

Of course I lost her … 

How do you compete against a mirage?

A mirage sold through a virtual wasteland overclocking our sensory input

A bazaar of theoretical futures yet to bed actuality.

No, I never lost her.

The world already had her.

  – O.D. ©2021

Art by:  Murciano

Elucidation.

Our lives are riddled with deaths

Know them — Study them —

Learn from them.

Don’t wait until the last one.

 

– O.D. ©2021

 

Art by:  indi1288

 

Anxiety about the future and its choices often pushes us to seek certainty in our lives.

The limbic system has a habit of triggering alert responses when we’re about to enter a situation that makes us feel uncomfortable. And I say feel because the limbic system is the part of our brain that regulates emotional and behavioral responses. 

This desire for certainty (if left unchecked) can easily cradle crippling habits.

Habits such as deliberately making choices that are “safe” or tolerating/rationalizing abuse because it’s easier to deal with “the devil you know” — y’know?

Psychological certainty plays a core part in the human experience. Influencing how people shape their thoughts, attitudes, decisions and behaviors. People form different evaluations and act a certain way when they feel certain, not when they feel uncertain. 

I won’t talk about how this desire for certainty affects every part of our lives but I will mention how it affects my creative thinking.

People who know me are aware that I don’t like leaning on traditional standards of thinking or doing things. I don’t like doing things just because that’s how it’s always been done. To me, that’s poor reasoning for validating something; especially when there’s room to improve on an established formula.

The same principle can be applied to my writing. I don’t like writing what’s safe, loved and appreciated by everyone — because nothing like that exists. 

I don’t like reading generic advice I could easily siphon on Quora or Yahoo answers lol. I know murder is bad; but it’s far more enlightening to learn what’s going on in the mind of those responsible. It’s a personal preference I suppose, to read work that takes risks; work that isn’t afraid to touch on the taboo.

I enjoy seeking uncertainty (within reason) because that is how ideas are generated — through questions. My mind can only work when I’m doused in uncertainty because that’s how I’m encouraged to make new ideations and interpretations of the world and everything around me.

That is how our theorized space of possibility continues to expand and form new connections — by allowing ourselves to welcome new experiences. After-all, creativity finds itself in the undulating hallways of the known and the unknown.

But of course, this isn’t something that can be appreciated by everyone; particularly those that desire certainty. And that is entirely valid. If people seek certainty they should find it. Even in relationships.

As a writer though; that reality sounds like hell.

Outside creativity, there are many other reasons why lessening our love for certainty is helpful. Giving certainty a long leash encourages us to be more tolerant and open minded — both of which help us see things from multiple perspectives and not lean on our way of thinking as being the “right” one.

It also offers us opportunities to embrace new experiences. 

But as always, it’s a choice.

 

(For the strawman: Not all certainty is bad. Yes, we need to know there is food for breakfast, lunch and dinner; especially when we’re responsible for people other than ourselves).

 

References: 

Carmen, A. 2016. Why are we always looking for certainty in our lives?. Psychology Today.

Tormala, Z, L. 2016. The role of certainty (and uncertainty) in attitudes and persuasion. Current Opinion in Psychology. Vol. 10, Pages 6-11.

Rock, D. 2009. A hunger for certainty. Psychology Today.