Waking Up From a Sorrowful Existence
Over the past year and a half I’ve written six books (five fiction and one non-fiction) and countless blog posts and articles. On any ordinary weekday in the last six months, I’d be posting up to ten blog posts, editing (anything including essays, letters and books), and also working on a book project. It paid well and so I kept going, living what I thought was the ‘writer’s dream’. Now I realize that besides the money I was paid (and all the things it’s afforded me), I actually have very little to show for the past 18 months of my career. Sure, there are articles here and there and my name appears on a few books I’ve edited, but my presence in the publishing world is almost non-existent. Another thing that proves this is my blog. I’d neglected this blog for over a year, until I decided it was time to get it going again. Now, at least I will have something to show for my passion, even if I’m a ghost the rest of the time.
Another drawback is that I started to hate writing. Yes, I began hating something that I was intensely passionate about for most of my life. The reason was because it became mind-numbing to spend most of my time on projects that I wasn’t directly interested in and would get little or no credit for. So, lesson learnt – don’t do anything for money alone (taken from 9 Learnings from 9 Years of Brain Pickings). Doing so results in depression. I even started to question if I’d ever really enjoyed it at all. I went through this about a month ago, then decided to restructure my business and career plans.
Ghostwriting Pays in Knowledge and Experience
I will continue ghostwriting as I already have contracts to fulfill and it would be silly not to see them through after putting in a great effort already. I have just decided to limit my time as a ghostwriter and also focus on advancing my own brand.
The plus side of being a ghostwriter is that I get paid well to improve on my skills and to learn. Through my various projects, I’ve had the opportunity to learn new information that I otherwise wouldn’t have about sports cars, bespoke motorcycles, design, architecture, fashion, technology, sociology, insurance, education and art. So, after each project, although I may come out without a byline, my bank balance will be higher and I leave with newly acquired information and skills.
As a result, my first novel will not be the first novel I’ve written, but just the first I publish in my own name. I will be able to leverage from the experience of all my other projects when I put together my very own work of art so I won't be publishing as a ' rookie'. The ghostwriting is just a stepping stone to this and I embrace each carefully selected project. And in order to fit in the works of love, well… I heard something about NaNoWriMo!