Drunken Dostoevsky
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Drunken Dostoevsky

I Will Never Take Ghostwriting Projects Again

Here’s what changed

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I have been working as a freelance content writer for half a decade and 70 percent of my projects were ghostwriting gigs. I got into freelance content for a simple reason: sustain my travel. I focused on quick, short-term projects in the travel niche, along with some website content. Ghostwriting projects were easy to find, offered a higher scope for negotiation and flexibility. Over the past year, my idea of travel and writing have changed. I’m no longer looking to make quick bucks from writing. I want to channelize my hours into creating something under my name and here’s why:

It adds nothing to the portfolio

Most of my ghostwriting projects were from Upwork and Instagram. These platforms don’t require a resume, they demand work samples. This year, I’m actively working on creating a portfolio and I can’t add any of my ghostwriting projects to it. It’s unethical, and moreover, the client can’t find my name in the byline and I can’t expect them to take my word for it.

When I started my journey as a freelance content writer, I was 16. I didn’t know my actual skills, my niche, or my style. This was my period to explore, and I was happy that someone was paying me to write. I didn’t care if my name was on the article. But now I know it counts for something. Some publications require you to share the links of your published work, and ghostwriters like us have nothing to share. I have missed out on some amazing long-term gigs because the relevant samples were ghostwritten. I don’t want to go through that disappointment in the future.

Although, I have taken a break from ghostwriting if you want to continue working as a ghostwriter, here’s a tip: Make an agreement with the client regarding the rights to share the work on your resume or portfolio. When I approached my clients about this, most of them were happy to let me do it.

My voice got lost

I’m on the journey of finding my voice as a writer. Most ghostwriting jobs require you to adapt your style. I no longer want to do that. There’s nothing wrong with it, I got to write about things I never thought I would, but I’m beginning to realise that I no longer want to fuel my brain with the ideas that don’t incline with me. Some of my ghostwriting projects were about sports surfaces and tubing, neither of the topics interests me. It took me forever to do the research and bring out what the client wanted, all for something I don’t even want to share with the world. This got harder when I wrote about topics I’m passionate about with an alien voice.

Without ghostwriting jobs, I wouldn’t have been able to travel as much as I did or diversify myself as a writer, but my approach towards ghostwriting has changed majorly because of my ideas about what kind of writer I want to be now. If you ask me today to take a ghostwriting project, I would say no. In today’s times, you don’t need to write about boring stuff to sustain yourself. You can get paid to share your ideas & thoughts and I want to spend this year trying that out. If it doesn’t work, I know ghostwriting isn’t going anywhere.

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