Friday, May 24, 2013

Why Am I a Ghostwriter/Collaborator? (Part 2 of 5)

Here are three more reasons I'm a collaborator.

3. I love the challenge of writing for another person. Almost anyone can get the information; the real work is to get inside another's heart and mind. Part of being a ghostwriter is to be able to think like the author.

The most difficult task is to see the world through another's eyes. We call that empathy; every writer doesn't have that ability.

Here's an example. In the last chapter of a book I wrote for Philadelphia school principal, Salome Thomas-EL (I Choose to Stay), I told the story of an inner-city student named Otis, who was Salome's first former-pupil to graduate from college. Despite Otis's protests that it was a long way to travel to the university, Salome attended the graduation ceremony. When I wrote that story, I tried to write it from the heart and not merely describing the event.

After he read that portion, Salome said, "It's the best part of the book. You brought out feelings I knew were there, but I didn't know how to express them." That's what I work hard to accomplish.

4. I also collaborate to hone my skills. I've learned more about the proper use of words as a ghostwriter than I could have grasped in writing my own material. Someone said it to me this way: "Your skills as a writer get on-the-job fine tuning, while someone else pays for the tune-up."

5. Ghostwriting provides the opportunity to confront or change my thinking. I can promote causes I advocate. Immediately, I think of a series of books I wrote for a pharmacologist during the 1990s. He studied addiction from the perspective of brain chemicals. I learned many things about the brain and addiction that I would never have studied on my own.

I was then able to present material in nonscientific terms to enlighten others or alter their way of thinking.

As a collaborator I learn about others;
in the process, I improve my writing skills.

1 comment:

  1. Cec, you have such a gift for writing from the heart and encouraging others to do the same. Reading Writer to Writer brought back fond memories of attending my first ACW conference in Memphis, TN over 20 years ago. You were the keynote speaker. Your energy leaps off the page. Thanks for making it your mission to mentor other writers. Your advice is much appreciated.

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