My name’s Jody, and if you’ve just met me (which many of you have), this is me saying “howdy!”
And, this is an unedited, stream-of-consciousness draft, in case you see distinctly-unprofessional typos.
This entry is a kind of chimera, part-introduction, part-challenge (for Brandie Peter’s 12-entry Ultimate Blogging Challenge) and part-retrospective. A few months ago, I rebooted this website/blog, which I’ve had since about 2011, and which started as a personal page, well before the word “ghostwriter” ever really entered my vocabulary as a possible career choice.
Back then, I was about a year out of separation and divorce, had just moved back in with my parents from my previous life in Hamilton and Burlington, Ontario to recover and recoup, and had a half-finished manuscript, my sci-fi novel “Convergence”. Later that same year, I’d spend a week travelling alone along the California coast researching the last of what I needed to finish it. Up until that trip (and for a longer time afterwards than I’d like to admit), this site was basically 85% emo, hella-informal, and mostly used as my own diary: not exactly a wellspring of evergreen content.
But I knew what I wanted. After years of becoming very adept at getting 9 to 5 jobs that I had little passion for (mostly in logistics, customer service, and admin), I sought for a way to become a career writer that didn’t involve chasing down one short assignment after another. In 2014, that option surfaced when I started meeting numerous creative types, life coaches, and so on who each told me that they wished someone could write their books for them.
So it was that I launched into what would be Version 1.0 of “Jody Aberdeen, Ghostwriter”. The premise was simple: write books for people, in their name, who don’t have the time, talent, or patience to do it themselves. Interview, transcribe, rewrite. And ultimately, get paid five figure rates up front for your trouble, knowing that you’d make zero royalties off of the book sales because, well, no one’s supposed to know you were there.
Okay, so it’s a bit more complicated than that, as I would find out during those first two years (which I’ll talk about in later entries).
For now, let’s just say that that was my basic training. That was bootcamp (not the fitnessy one, I mean the real one where you get your ass cheek caught in barbed wire crawling in the mud with a weapon). I ran into nearly every single obstacle you can imagine and it would ultimately and literally drive me crazy (more on that a little later).
Ghostwriting 1.0 was a barrel of laughs, let me tell ya.
But Ghostwriting 2.0 is here, and I’m not messing around anymore.
What and who am I today? I’m 36 years old, single, slightly pudgy, and grateful. I’ve moved back to my beloved Hamilton area, to a small country-ish village called Waterdown just north of the city. I’m creating and re-creating my life seven years after it took me off the well-traveled road of cars, careers, marriage, and kids to a surprising and Bohemian entrepreneurial lifestyle.
Now out of Basic, I’m a friendly-deadly wordslinger with a grudge, on a hunt to find the most remarkable stories that need telling, and tell them. I’m done with templated business books, have had my fill of formulaic self-help and paint-by-numbers publishing.
I’m on the hunt for the real, the strange, the extraordinary, and the inspirational, partnering only with people who value the sharing of the story more than they do the fringe benefits of becoming a quote-unquote “published author”.
Over the next eleven entries, I invite you to read the story of how I tell your story. Stick around for the next chapter.