Having trouble getting started writing a book?
Give It Up to the Ghost!
Do you have an area of expertise and a story to tell? Do you want to write a book but something keeps getting the way? That something, typically, can be time, and money or maybe an inability to wordsmith your way to a compelling telling of your tale. My advice: stop stalling! Like most things in life, you only have to “do it alone” if you choose to.
Some people do actually sit down and write that book themselves, be it a memoir, novel, play, poetry, short stories, young adult/children’s book or business book. Maybe they write to help enhance their reputation and raise their rates, or anything else they deem worthy of precious time and hard-earned money. However, others find another way to accomplish their objective of becoming an author: they intelligently seek out the very best collaborator—by asking other authors for references, doing online research and vetting the kind of writer they believe will best serve their needs.
That person might be someone with whom they share a co-author credit, who works for back-end book sales or royalties only, sharing the risk and the rewards. Alternatively, it might be someone who gets a “with” in front of their name or no credit at all. That person might or might not get paid, and they may or may not get some split of any publisher royalty and future book sales. Make no mistake: writing is usually an expensive undertaking because of the work and time involved. Then there’s the ultimate out-and-out ghost: the invisible midwife who pulls your story out of you and writes it both with and for you. You tell your story to your collaborator and he or she wordsmiths it so that it is as well-expressed and powerfully effective as it deserves to be, in your own voice and with your own words.
But how does the would-be author find that special someone? Let me caution you that not all ghostwriters are created equal. And no, it’s not just a question of talent/no talent. Lots of professional writers can ace their own book or other writing projects, but getting inside another person, being able to write in that voice, and being able to express those ideas rather than one’s own – that requires a special kind of talent.
You want a writer who can feel your joy and pain, get under your skin and help you tell your story to the world. With my long experience, I can tell you that writing a stand out book today isn’t easy, let along a bestseller in this crowded and highly competitive landscape. Really great books are actually few and far-between and often don’t achieve that recognition with an author’s first boo. But the rewards for the person becoming an author for the first time can be remarkable.
If you understand that it’s a numbers game as well as talent and invest some time in your search everywhere for a perfect candidate, there will be a collaborator or ghostwriter out there who’s right for you, with the right fit, the right price or arrangement, and the ability to help you ‘birth’ your book.
Good luck; and if you need some advice, just holler.