People don’t want to admit they hire ghostwriters. There is a stigma attached to using a ghostwriter, and we might as well admit it.
Why should this be?
Whether they can write well or not, people think they should be able to write. We are funny about writing. We think everyone can write – after all, we learned how in first grade! Reading and writing are a big part of what makes us “civilized.”
One of the correlating lessons that we learned, at the tender age of four or five, was that we must do our own work. Never, ever, copy someone else. We are all capable of learning the skill of writing.
A first grader can write a simple story. A fourth grader can write a book report. By the time we get to high school, we have learned to research and do reports on complex subjects. We have learned grammar and spelling and sentence construction. We have read some great works of Literature. We know what makes a book good.
So now we are adults and should be able to write a book of our own. If we have someone else do it for us, that means we’re cheating. Right?
Well, no. Not always.
I’m a ghostwriter. I make my living writing books for others. I believe this is a perfectly legitimate way to get thoughts, ideas, methods and stories out into the world where they can do some good. Why should only those with writing talent or the time to write be able to share their stories in written form? You can hire decorators to help you beautify your house, and mechanics to keep your car running smoothly, and gardeners to prune the roses at the right time. It’s just as okay to hire writers to help you get your thoughts and stories out into the world in a way that other people will enjoy reading about them.
Of course those thoughts, ideas, methods, and stories must be those of the author – not the ghostwriter. If you want to write a book, or an article, or a blog post, about the eagle’s nesting habits, or the history of the Watergate scandal, or how to grow tomatoes, but you don’t have the time or the skill to write it yourself, then hire a ghostwriter. But you must tell your ghostwriter all you know and want to say about those eagles or tomatoes or Watergate. And then you can legitimately claim that book as yours. Because it is.
No stigma left.
Kim Pearson is an author, ghostwriter, and owner of Primary Sources, a writing service that helps others become authors of professional and compelling books and articles. She has authored 6 books of her own, and ghostwritten more than 40 non-fiction books and memoirs. To learn more about her books or services, visit http://www.primary-sources.com/.