Three Approaches To Ghostwriting (a.k.a. My Philosophy) (#i2u Ultimate Blogging Challenge Entry #6)

What should you look for in a ghostwriter?

As I observed in an earlier entry in this series, a client-provider paradigm isn’t necessarily the best way to go when ghostwriting a book. Both author and ghostwriter must have rapport, resonance at a very deep level, and, yes, even friendship to ensure the best, most authentic-sounding book comes out of the work together.

If you have a particular message or belief, it’s best to partner with a writer who either shares your views and/or can respect your views while asking the hard questions.

If you’re considering partnering with me, I’d like to share three of my values and beliefs that are the most relevant in my ghostwriting. I could go on further, but these are the three that matter the most.

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Nothing Lasts Forever

At the risk of sounding morbid and cynical, nothing lasts forever. Death comes for everyone, even your name. Entropy consumes everything, even the things we think are “forever”. Marriages end, whether by death or divorce. Parents and elders will die. Good times and bad times alike will pass. Eventually, even the sun’s going to eat us right before it, too, goes nova. This is just reality in the physical world. All you can do is make the most of the time you’ve got now, to enhance the quality of life for yourself and others in the world while they are in the world.

Why You Should Care: Much of the press around ghostwriting centres around achieving fame and fortune as a bestselling author. It’s like a lottery win: once you hit the big time, there’s no going back. The reality, of course, is that this is not the case for most people. You might become internationally known and make loads of money off of something you’ve written (hell, maybe even get optioned for a movie or TV show), but that’s not necessarily going to last.

If you want to write a book, do it for the sake of the story and its impact on life right now and for however far into the future the ripple effect will carry. Don’t do it for the fame and fortune, both of which are often elusive and temporary.

Nothing Unreal Exists

Alexander Pushkin once said “better the illusions that exalt us than ten thousand truths”. I can get behind that to a degree, but ultimately, I prefer the things that I believe to be based in reality. The basis of belief in any kind of super natural force must begin with what is quantifiable, detectable by the five senses, and consistently verifiable by others via scientific and rational inquiry.

In other words, any kind of woo-woo belief in things like UFOs, aliens, ghosts, spirits, psychic powers, and so on must have a basis in sound science for it to carry any real weight in the meat-and-potatoes world of everyday reality. To consider realities beyond this one, you must accept this one as it is, and go from there. As my first year philosophy professor once helped us define and commit to memory, “to know is to believe something that is true and to be able to support that belief with evidence”. Anything short of that doesn’t exist.

Why You Should Care: Credibility matters. There are enough shills and unqualified charlatans out there writing books based on absolute bullshit posing as “nutrition”, “health”, “medicine”, and “science” without my help.

For non-fiction ghostwriting projects, especially on topics like health and wellness, I will only partner with authors who are credible. That is, they’ve got real life academic training or certification in the topic they want to write about (especially in the cases of books on health and medicine), and/or if they’ve got enough hands-on experience in the given field to have something authoritative to say about it. Not only that, but they have to be willing to allow me to verify their claims with their peers. I will not be a party to adding more falsehood to the world.

Reality is Bigger Than It Looks

Now, the flipside of what I just said. A funny thing happens when you really take on seeing and accepting the larger reality as it is: inevitably, you’ll start to realize that reality as we see it isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. People still see and experience strange things that the scientific establishment dismisses as “anedoctal” without actually looking into it, often things that the same establishment will validate with time.

The people who embrace New Age beliefs, too, aren’t necessarily just choosing to believe in woo woo things because they can: obviously, something happened in their lives that moved them enough to consider a bigger paradigm. Often, they can’t explain what it is, and that’s okay. The beauty of life is that for all that we do know, there is vastly more that we don’t, and it’s entirely possible that what we don’t know is far grander than anything we can imagine. Belief without proof isn’t inherently bad as long as it doesn’t negate what’s so. After all, I, too, have many such beliefs.

Why You Should Care: As I outlined in the last entry, I’m now actively looking for stories of “high strangeness” to help ghostwrite. However, if you come to me from a place of absolute certainty, that you know that it was aliens you saw flying over the city, or that you met Jesus during a near death experience and that you’re absolutely sure that it was him, then we might not be a good fit. The majority of New Age and paranormal books on topics such as ghosts and aliens share the common fallacy of claiming to know definitively, without evidence, that that strange thing you saw or experienced was undeniably ghosts or aliens. In reality, you don’t know what it is, but you kill the possibility of meaningful inquiry whenever you assume what it is.

What will resonate with me, however, is if you would say you had an extraordinary experience, it looked this or that way, you met someone who appeared to be this or that person, but you’re not sure, and you’d like to explore it in writing and see where it goes.

Because reality is bigger than it looks, and there’s no shame in saying that you don’t know what that strange experience was, and you’d like to find out. I’d rather you say that than make something up, or appeal to conspiracy (another unverifiable claim that’s just as useful as discussing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin).

There are more things I can talk about in terms of how I work, but with regard to ghostwriting, these are the values that matter the most.

If they resonate with you, and you have a project in mind that would benefit from such a context, email me at jaberdeen@rogers.com. I’d love to hear about it, and see how we can best work together.

To learn more about my services and pricing, you can click on “My Services“. I’m also going to add a special “Ghostwriting Breakdown” page, discussing in more detail the types of ghostwriting that I do.

And, if you’re a freelancer or creative entrepreneur who’s interested in upping your blogging game by creating real, searchable, authentic content, join Brandie Peters’ #i2u Ultimate Blogging Challenge by visiting http://invisible-to-unstoppable.com

Coming next in Entry 7: How To Become A Ghostwriter

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