An Interesting Proposition: Ghostwriting

I’m usually flat broke.

This is a topic that comes up, often, and is pretty much the defining aspect of my life.  As a fresh-faced (kind of?) college graduate with a retail job, student loans and not even enough money to buy a car that I would ALSO have to pay money for, money is always kind of a touch-and-go subject…  Usually going, going, gone.

We’ve all been there, am I right?

One of the defining features of creative types throughout history is being, as we’ve been coined, ‘starving artists.’  Luckily my parents house me and are inclined to feed me when I’m around, because if they didn’t, I would be too broke to do anything but work–and that doesn’t leave much time for creative pursuits.

For anyone else in the same boat, I think you know what I’m talking about.

But I’ve recently thought about something that I never have before, and that’s ghostwriting.

No, ghostwriting doesn’t involve THIS kind of ghost. I checked.

What’s ghostwriting?  Unfortunately it’s not as para-normally AWESOME as it sounds, but it is basically when someone writes something behind-the-scenes, and although they receive no rights to the work or any credit, they DO get paid for it.

Hence the whole spiel about my being broke as a joke.

My friend brought up a website today the likes of which I am at least vaguely familiar with.  This one was, and it’s basically a huge website for freelancing jobs.  You create an account, plug in your skills, then start looking for jobs that fit your unique talents.  As I was idly glancing through, I realized there were actually quite a few jobs for ghostwriters.  Apparently all kinds of people have ideas for stories, but are unable to write them out… who knew?

Now you might be asking, if I can write my own story, why should I write one for some STRANGER, then kiss it goodbye and never have visitation rights?  That’s a good question.  Now, if you’re independently wealthy or already have a steady writing gig, you’re right.  This is a stupid idea.  Keep doing your own thing and ignore me.  But for those of us who enjoy writing, want to stretch out our skills, and honestly need money NOW as opposed to when our books possibly-if-ever take off, well…  It beats selling your soul, right?

A couple examples: Someone was willing to pay $800 for a 30k word romantic-suspense story.  THIRTY THOUSAND WORDS.  If anyone has done Nanowrimo SUCCESSFULLY, then you know it’s totally possible to write a HELL of a lot more than that in a month.  Good words?  Maybe not.  But even if you took a little longer, depending on how quickly you write…. Well, let’s just say that’s probably a chunk of change more than minimum wage.  (Which is, sadly, what I make.)

Is the idea of being shunted to the background great?  No.  Is there a possibility your story will be SO MIND-BLOWINGLY AWESOME that the person who paid you makes a billion-jillion dollars, of which you are legally entitled to squat?  Well, I guess.  But those odds are SUPER-SLIM.  And we’re talking making money, doing what you (theoretically) like to do, and would probably do FOR FREE… Except not sitting around in a dusty file on your computer forever.

Note: You’re probably much more likely to make money if you can pen a good, erotic short story.  What can I say?  At least you’re getting paid, and people have done a lot worse for a lot less.

Okay, maybe not THIS rich, but it’s an exaggerated representation.


P.S. Does this count as giving in to ‘The Man’?  Eh, probably.  Sorry about that. xD


4 thoughts on “An Interesting Proposition: Ghostwriting

  1. I’m right there with you, sister. I’ve actually considered doing the same thing. I’ve been having the same struggles about selling out and possibly even selling for cheap. However, when you live abroad and it costs about $800 just to get to work then, ghost-writing starts sounding better and better. I recently started working on-line doing something unrelated to writing for the same reason. (Girl’s gotta eat.) But I catch myself going back and browsing over the writing jobs. I guess, I’m still on the fence, I don’t want to get to the point where I don’t have anytime to write for myself. It’s hard enough as it is. Maybe someone who’s doing it will give us some good advice on how to do both.

    • Good points! And yes, sadly, girl DOES gotta eat. ;( I feel like I’ve found my writing mojo lately, and all I do is work at a menial job I dislike until I want to drop and then have no energy left for higher brain-functions. BUT, would turning writing into work make things better, or worse? I DON’T KNOW. But I just thought it was worth mentioning, and thinking about, for the poor among us. xD (Of which there are, of course, many.)

    • That’s the issue! It’s like, credit… or MONIES. Honestly, some days I don’t even know, lol. I might think about taking on a smaller-scale job, and if it isn’t too hard, and I have time (aka not in November, ha ha!,) then try one of the big-ticket ones.

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