To many, ghostwriters are an ill-kept secret in the industry, much like a pop star lip-syncing on stage. With ghostwriting you have to put your best foot forward and produce work for which you will never receive credit for. A lot of bestsellers are written, not by the individuals credited, but by brilliant authors in the background working to churn out the best work possible for a paycheck.

Indeed, ghostwriting is a unique field and it isn’t for everyone. A lot of writers cannot fathom the idea of working from the shadows. Yet, there are lessons to be learned from ghostwriting, especially if you are open to learning them.



Being invisible, no matter how frustrating it is, is what ghostwriters sign-up for. However, ghostwriting gives you the opportunity to experience first-hand, how it feels when thrown in the writing and self-publishing arena. Ghostwriting is more than just an effective opportunity for honing your craft. It can also provide aspiring authors a glance into the world of professional authors and the publishing industry.  This bird’s eye view can extract lessons to help transform your writing career. ChatEbooks lists down some of the lessons you can learn from ghostwriting.

Deadlines vs. Inspiration

Anyone can have inspirational ideas. Very few people actually turn their ideas into tangible results. As a ghostwriter, one of the first things you learn is that inspiration is not a driving force or even necessary for completing an assignment. This profession is more so driven by goals and deadlines.  Ghostwriters have to work within the time constraints imposed by their clients.  Therefore they understand the importance of setting specific goals and striving to achieve them. This is where deadlines come into play. They force you to put your commitment and determination to the test. Ghostwriting teaches you to work within a schedule, to meet your deadlines and to turn invisible concepts into solid goals regardless of whether you feel inspired.

The Myth of Writer’s Block

Spend enough time as a ghostwriter and you will learn that professional writers do not really give writer’s block much credence. As far as most professional authors are concerned, writer’s block should not be used as an excuse to give into one’s fears and allow one’s doubt to cripple them. In short, writer’s block is a CHOICE. It’s choosing worry over action in the creative process.

If you are afraid that you can’t write anything worth reading, then you are unlikely to put pen to paper out of fear of potential failure. When ghostwriting, you need to get as many words down as quickly as possible. There is no time to analyze your worth. You quickly learn the importance of acting immediately and waiting to worry about the quality of your skills when you have some actual work to judge.

Success Doesn’t Bring Security

As a ghostwriter, you eventually realize that there is no such thing as ‘making it’. No matter how many bestsellers you write, every new project feels like your first book. In fact, because you have written so many books, you have so much more to compare your next novel with.

In other words, the doubts never end, and neither do the insecurities. When you interact with successful authors that struggle with the same doubts that you have as an aspiring author, it becomes easier to face your fears knowing that very little separates you from your literary legends.

Write for the Sake of Writing

This might be the most important lesson aspiring authors can learn from ghostwriting: to write for the sake of writing. People who write for money or even fame are often disappointed. 

Good authors know that writing is about giving other people memorable experiences. As a ghostwriter, you understand that the work is the point. You know you will never receive the credit you are due for your efforts, yet you keep moving forward because you want to tell the best possible story.

Love the writing, NOT the idea of writing. You cannot move forward as an author until you learn this. This is the sort of lesson that should clear all your doubts. Once you focus on writing the best possible story, then the possibility of rejection cannot frighten you, especially when you have done your best. 

Ghostwriting, while usually shunned by aspiring authors, is a great opportunity. Before you can make you way towards your dreams, try making another individual’s dreams come true. Bring their story to life. You might be surprised by the lessons you will learn. When you’re ready to tell your own story, bring these lessons with you to guide you through the creative process. Remember this – bestselling authors aren’t necessarily the best writers. They are simply the most determined to succeed in the industry. Be the best that you can be. If they can make it at the top, so can you!


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Ghostwriting - 5 Lessons to Learn From Writing Behind the Scenes
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