How I Survived As A Ghostwriter For 7 Years And Counting

As a ghostwriter, it’s important to know how to survive in this industry. You’ll spend a lot of time alone in front of your computer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take care of yourself. 

Self-care is crucial for keeping your mind and body healthy so that you can continue producing quality work for your clients as well as maintain a positive outlook and keep moving forward when things get tough. 

Here are some tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years about how to stay healthy and happy as a writer:

Ghostwriting 101 as a new beginner ghost writer – YouTube
1. Persistence is Key: The author’s journey highlights the importance of perseverance and determination in the competitive world of ghostwriting.
2. Adaptability Matters: Embracing versatility and being open to writing across diverse topics and genres can lead to long-term success as a ghostwriter.
3. Client Relationships: Building strong and professional relationships with clients fosters repeat business and positive word-of-mouth referrals.
4. Time Management: Efficiently managing time and deadlines is essential to handling multiple projects and maintaining a steady income stream.
5. Continuous Improvement: Investing in skill development and staying up-to-date with writing trends enhances the quality and marketability of ghostwriting services.

Move Forward When You Should Leave

If you find yourself in a job that is not fulfilling, challenging, or happy-making, it’s time to move on. You’re only going to get so much out of a situation like this before it starts taking away from the things that should matter most in your life. 

The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence but sometimes it’s worth taking a chance and experiencing something new.

Embarking on a journey as a ghostwriter opens up a world of opportunities. Discover the 17 reasons why ghostwriting is the best business to be in and how it can lead to a fulfilling career. Don’t miss this insightful guide on Why Ghostwriting is the Best Business to Be In and unlock your potential in the writing realm.

Don’t Take It Personally

The best way to survive as a ghostwriter is not to take it personally.

When you’re working with clients, it’s easy to get attached to their ideas and feel frustrated if they don’t like something you wrote or your writing style in general. You might even feel like an idiot for taking the job in the first place! 

But if these feelings start getting you down, remind yourself of all the other clients who have liked what you’ve written and there will be plenty of them. And if something goes wrong on your end? Take responsibility, learn from it, and move on!

Set Your Boundaries

Set Your Boundaries With Your Clients

I’ve had some really interesting experiences with this, but the most important thing is to not let it get personal. 

If you are ghostwriting for someone and they are constantly trying to micro-manage every aspect of their book (including how much writing should be done).

Then you need to set firm boundaries. It’s fine if they want you there as an editor and advisor, but don’t let them push the limits of what is reasonable.

Aspiring to become a successful ghostwriter? Avoid these 9 deadly sins to ensure your path to success remains untainted. Learn from the mistakes of others and check out this cautionary article on The 9 Deadly Sins of Ghostwriting to steer clear of common pitfalls.

Get A Dog

One of the great things about dogs is that they are always up for going out, especially if you have a dog who loves to run. 

I found that getting out of the house was one of the best ways to spend my time and stay active even when it was just walking around my neighborhood and looking at other people’s houses. 

Dogs are also great companions when it comes to socializing; they’ll show up at parks or beaches with their owners and make friends with other dogs (and sometimes even people). 

You can join in that socialization by becoming an unofficial “dog walker” for your pup by taking him on his adventures around town, which will help get him used to being away from home without stressing yourself out too much about leaving him alone all day.

Embrace The Ugly Cry

You’ll cry. You’ll be sad. You’ll be angry, frustrated, and disappointed. Sometimes you will feel overwhelmed with work and the weight of your responsibility to the client’s project. 

It’s okay to feel all these things it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person for it or that you’re not doing enough for yourself or others who depend on you.

But sometimes we need an outlet where we can express ourselves without judgment or fear of the response from others (even if that response is just “thank goodness someone else feels this way too”).

I find that writing has been an amazing tool for me over the years because it allows me to process my feelings in such a constructive way while still getting them out of my system so I can move forward again with clarity, focus, and confidence!

Breathe In, Breathe Out

One of the most important things you can do while you’re learning to be a ghostwriter is to practice breathing. When we get nervous or stressed out, our breathing tends to get shallow and fast.

Which can lead to hyperventilation and other not-so-fun symptoms like dizziness, sweating, tingling fingers and toes, numbness in the hands or feet…the list goes on. 

We’ve all had these feelings before (maybe even more than once), but there’s no need for them if we learn how to calm down with a few deep breaths.

Good news: it doesn’t take much time out of your day for this kind of exercise! It only takes about five minutes every morning before starting work on anything else and that includes email replies from clients who want their projects done by tomorrow afternoon! 

The trick here is doing this regularly so that over time you’ll start feeling calmer simply from thinking about what needs to be done today rather than panicking about deadlines looming overhead at every corner…

And maybe even fall asleep faster at night because now when those thoughts pop into mind during REM cycles instead of just waking up suddenly sweaty after having nightmares about how behind schedule things are getting.”

Venturing into the world of ghostwriting? Arm yourself with essential knowledge and take heed of these 8 cautions while working as a ghostwriter. Enhance your understanding of the profession with this invaluable resource on Working as a Ghostwriter: 8 Cautions and set yourself up for success.

Cut Toxic Influences From Your Life

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you’re going to be successful, your relationships are going to reflect that.

You don’t have to be friends with everyone, but the people in your life should be there because they make you feel good and want you to succeed. 

It’s not just about who they are as individuals; it’s also about how they fit into your life. If someone is making you feel bad or pulling you down, then let them go.

You might think that cutting toxic influences from your life is easy (and for some people, it is), but for others, getting rid of toxic relationships can take time and effort. 

You may need some outside help from other sources like therapists or counselors who can advise on how best to cut these negative influences out of their lives

Don’t Try To Please Everyone

In the end, you have to be confident in your abilities and not let others’ opinions affect your work. You’ve got to stand up for yourself and not let someone else’s opinion of you dictate the decisions you make in life. As a writer, I was never going to please everyone and that’s okay!

It may sound like a cliché, but if you want to live a long and happy life as a ghostwriter (or anything else), it’s important to remember that there is only one person whose opinion matters: yours.

It’s Okay To Be Uncomfortable

There will be times when you are uncomfortable. Many times you will be uncomfortable. You can’t avoid this by being afraid of it, because doing so will only make things worse. Instead, embrace the challenge and learn to deal with it.

It’s okay if your client wants to change something late in the game it happens all the time! And it’s also okay if your client asks for something that seems crazy that’s what makes us good at what we do!

The key is not to let these issues overwhelm or upset you; instead, find ways to work through them until everyone is happy with the final product.

Get Away From The Computer

I can’t emphasize this enough: take breaks, get outside (even if it’s just to walk around your neighborhood), and do something other than work every single day. 

If you’re working on a project that requires long hours and lots of focus, then by all means go for it but taking care of yourself should also be part of your routine. 

As much as I love writing, I don’t want my health to be affected by a lack of sleep or exercise because I’m too busy trying to meet deadlines or finish projects early.

So make sure you leave some time in your schedule each day for non-work activities like going out with friends or playing video games (yes! they’re still cool). 

It will help keep stress levels down while also ensuring that you remain sane during those intense periods when everyone else seems so crazy around them.

Are you a ghostwriter looking to increase your productivity and output? Gain valuable insights and tips to write faster and publish more as a ghostwriter. Check out our comprehensive guide on Tips to Help You Write Faster and Publish More as a Ghostwriter to elevate your writing game.

Fight The Wrong Battle Swiftly And Move On

I’ve learned that it’s impossible to win every battle. Sometimes, you just have to let something go, or be content with a partial victory. There are some situations in which there is no right answer, or you simply can’t make everyone happy. 

When this happens and it will happen you need to learn when it’s time to retreat from the fight and save your energy for something else. 

When you find yourself getting upset about something that isn’t worth your time or attention (or when someone else is trying to upset you), ask yourself: “Is this worth my energy?” If not, set aside your pride and walk away before things escalate further than they should.

Eat, Sleep, Exercise, Repeat

While I can’t tell you how exactly to make the time to eat, sleep and exercise, here are some things that have helped me stay healthy while working as a ghostwriter:

Eating well. I’m not an expert on nutrition by any means, but I know enough to stay away from processed foods that are high in sodium or sugar. As long as your diet is mostly whole foods (fruits, vegetables, nuts) and lean proteins (chicken breast), you’ll be okay.

Eating breakfast every morning. If you’re anything like me (I love cereal), this helps keep your energy levels stable throughout the day so that when 4 p.m rolls around and everyone else is crashing but you still have work to do and oh boy does it feel good!

You’ll still be able to function like a normal human being instead of becoming one with your chair. 

These days my go-to breakfast item is Nature’s Path Flax Plus Chia Granola Cereal because it’s made with no artificial flavors or colors from natural sources; plus it has two grams of omega-3s per serving! Now, who doesn’t want more omega-3s in their life?

Close Down All Social Media Accounts Not Related To Work Or Family

Let’s face it: social media is a distraction. It’s also a time-suck, which means that if you have too much of either one of those things going on in your life, you’re not being productive and getting stuff done.

If you want to be a successful ghostwriter and make good money at it, then these are two things you can’t afford to have in your life right now.

What I mean by this is that if all of your friends are posting their inspirational quotes on Facebook or Instagramming their five-course dinners or sharing photos from their latest vacation to the Bahamas (or whatever), then what does that do for you? 

It makes everything seem so easy for them! And then when they invite you out to bars or parties or fancy dinners (because they’re making so much money), well…you’ll go because it’s fun and exciting and because maybe.

This will be the night that something magical happens between the two of us! But then later after spending hours scrolling through photos from people who aren’t even really friends anyway your mind drifts back into self-doubt mode: “I don’t think I’m pretty enough…” 

Or maybe: “I wish I had more friends like her…” Or even worse yet: “Maybe I should try harder at work…but no one else ever seems as busy as me!”

Curious about the world of ghostwriter bloggers? Unravel the mysteries and intricacies of this unique domain with our illuminating article on What You Need to Know About Ghostwriter Bloggers. Get acquainted with their role and impact in the blogging sphere and explore the possibilities of collaboration.

Don’t Compromise Your Beliefs

You will inevitably be asked to compromise your beliefs. It’s just the way it is. I’ve been asked to write blogs that I thought were inherently sexist, even though the company was female-owned. 

I’ve been asked by clients who are trying to get published, but don’t have their platform or following yet (what’s called “vanity publishing”), which means they’re paying for services without having any real incentive for me.

And also means there’s a higher chance of my work getting lost in the shuffle when it comes out to help them promote their book on social media.

Despite being uncomfortable with doing so because it feels like pandering and spamming friends who might feel pressured into liking their posts when they’d rather not see them at all.

In almost every instance where you think about saying no or asking for advice from someone else before making a decision, think about whether you need someone else’s approval before going ahead with what feels right for you as an individual (or group). 

If so then go ahead and do that thing! But if not then make sure that what feels right matches up with what your company/clients/bosses want…and if something doesn’t line up then don’t hesitate to say no or ask questions first before taking action either way

Say No When You Mean No

There will always be people in your life who want you to say yes when you mean no. They may be people who are very close to you, or they may just be acquaintances. As a ghostwriter, I’ve had to learn how to say no when I mean no and also how not to feel guilty when I say it!

To learn this skill, here’s what I did:

First, make sure that saying yes is not going against your morals or beliefs in any way. If it is, then don’t do it! That’s a good enough reason for me not to take on a project if my values are compromised by doing so (and therefore make me resentful). 

Instead of compromising yourself like that, find some other way of supporting the person asking for help without compromising yourself, or even better yet: 

Find ways for them themselves to compromise their values and needs for the sake of others instead of expecting everyone else around them should compromise themselves just because they have needs too!

Second-best option: is to get clarity about what exactly someone wants from us before accepting anything at all though; because otherwise, we can end up feeling responsible later on down the line if things go wrong.

Because we didn’t know beforehand exactly what was expected from us during those first few weeks/months/years after agreeing with something that originally seemed like a such great idea at the time but now seems like a terrible mistake we made somewhere along the way down the road.”

Shrug Off Rejection Gracefully And Keep Moving Forward

The most important thing to remember is that rejection happens, and it’s a part of the process. Just as you have to learn how to deal with rejection as an author, you also have to learn how to deal with it as a ghostwriter. It’s part of life!

Think about your favorite authors they probably had multiple books rejected before they were published. If those authors took rejection personally and let it discourage them from writing (or even reading), then we wouldn’t have their books today!

Let Go Of What You Can’t Control And Focus On What You Can

You can’t control other people and you shouldn’t waste time worrying about them. Don’t compare yourself to others, and don’t lose sleep over what other people are doing or think of you. Focus on your work, not on what other people are doing in theirs.

You can’t change the past so don’t waste time thinking about it. What’s done is done and worrying about it won’t bring back what already happened.

Let go of things that are out of your control; focus on things that are within your power to change now or in the future instead!

You Must Take Care Of Yourself To Survive In This Profession

As a ghostwriter, you are your boss. You set your hours and work when you want to work. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to take care of yourself. If anything, it’s more important because when you are taking care of yourself, everything else flows easily.

You need to take care of your health (physical and mental) so that you can continue writing at the level required by your clients or prospective clients. 

You also should take time out for meditation and mindfulness exercises; they’ll help center yourself at the moment so that all those distractions don’t get in the way of focusing on what matters most: getting words written!


Writing is my passion, and I love working as a ghostwriter. But it’s not always easy. There are days when I feel overwhelmed by the work, and there are times when I wonder if it’s worth continuing. 

But what keeps me going is knowing that no matter what happens, my spirit will never be broken. Writing has helped me realize who I am and how strong my inner voice can be. 

If you want to survive in this profession like me and many others you need to take care of yourself so that your mind remains sharp enough to handle all the challenges we face every day!

Further Reading

7 Reasons Why I Love Being a Ghostwriter: Discover the joys and benefits of the ghostwriting profession from the perspective of an experienced ghostwriter.

Ghostwriter Carries On V.C. Andrews’ Gothic Legacy: Explore the continuation of V.C. Andrews’ literary legacy through the work of ghostwriters in this captivating NPR article.

The Step-by-Step Process to Using Ghostwriting as a Leadership Tool: Learn how to leverage ghostwriting as a powerful leadership tool with this insightful Entrepreneur article.


How do I become a ghostwriter?

Becoming a ghostwriter typically involves honing your writing skills, building a portfolio, and networking with potential clients or publishing houses. It’s crucial to showcase your versatility and professionalism to attract opportunities.

Do ghostwriters get credited for their work?

No, ghostwriters do not receive public credit for their work. Their contributions remain confidential, and the credit goes to the named author or client.

How much do ghostwriters charge?

Ghostwriting fees vary widely depending on the scope of the project, the experience of the ghostwriter, and the client’s requirements. Rates can be negotiated based on word count, complexity, and time investment.

Is ghostwriting legal and ethical?

Yes, ghostwriting is legal and considered ethical as long as there is mutual agreement between the ghostwriter and the client or author. It is essential to establish clear terms and ownership rights at the outset of the collaboration.

Can ghostwriters write in various genres?

Yes, many ghostwriters are versatile and can write across various genres, including fiction, non-fiction, blog posts, articles, speeches, and more. It’s essential to find a ghostwriter with experience and expertise in your desired genre.