My Life As A Ghostwriter: 13 Things It’s Taught Me

It can be hard to get started as a ghostwriter. So many people have told me that they could write a book, but they just don’t know where to start. 

For me, it was always easy to start writing because I was passionate about what I wrote. But for others who aren’t sure about their topic or their craft, here are some lessons I’ve learned over the years:

Ghostwriters – An Ugly Secret – YouTube
1. The art of stepping into various voices and perspectives.
2. The value of confidentiality and trust in the profession.
3. Balancing creative freedom with client expectations.
4. Navigating the challenges of tight deadlines.
5. Adapting writing styles to suit different genres.
6. The significance of clear communication with clients.
7. Embracing constructive feedback for continuous improvement.
8. Cultivating resilience in the face of rejection.
9. The importance of meticulous research and fact-checking.
10. Building a strong network of fellow writers and mentors.
11. Dealing with the ethical dilemmas of ghostwriting.
12. Embracing the versatility and diversity of projects.
13. Finding fulfillment in bringing others’ stories to life.

1. Writing Is A Gift And A Curse

It’s both at the same time, and you can’t have one without the other.

You might think that being able to do what you love for a living would be one of the best things about it all but for me, it’s actually been just as important not to get too wrapped up in what I’m writing (and who I’m writing for) on any given day. 

As someone who gets stuck working on projects even when they’re no longer relevant to her current state of mind, this has been vital for my self-care regimen.

Surviving as a ghostwriter requires determination and adaptability. In my personal journey, I’ve learned to overcome challenges and evolve with the industry. For valuable insights on how I survived as a ghostwriter for 7 years and counting, check out my story.

2. Don’t Be Afraid To Write About Yourself

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with writing a book or article that’s just an autobiography. Many writers have used their own experiences as the jumping-off point for other works, and I’m sure you can find some examples of this in your favorite books. 

In fact, when I was first starting out as a ghostwriter, one of my clients asked me to do exactly that write her memoirs! She had so many fascinating stories to tell about her life and career as a scientist.

But she also wanted me to include how those experiences shaped my path toward becoming a writer. 

When it came time for me to sit down at my computer and start typing away, however…I froze up completely. What if people didn’t like what I had written? What if my story wasn’t interesting enough? What if no one liked reading about me?

But then again: why should I care? Who cares whether anyone else enjoys reading about your life or not? If it makes sense for your story (and if it helps everyone reading), then go ahead and use yourself as inspiration! 

It may feel awkward at first because there are certain aspects of ourselves we don’t necessarily want others to know about us but remember: no matter what someone else thinks about our personal lives (or even our professional ones), it doesn’t change who we really are inside.

Building a ghostwriting website was a turning point in my career. It allowed me to showcase my skills and connect with clients worldwide. Discover the reasons why I decided to build one in this article: Why I Built a Ghostwriting Website: My Justifications.

3. You Can Learn A Lot About Other People’s Money By Writing About It

I’ve found that writing about money can be a great way for people to open up about their finances. 

Most of us spend our days talking with coworkers, friends, and family members about how much money we make and how much we spend on things. We might not realize it, but those conversations give us a lot of insight into other people’s financial habits.

When I ghostwrite personal finance books for professionals or small business owners, I find that many people are willing to share their stories about how they got started with money and why it matters in their lives. 

Asking questions like “Why did you decide to start saving for retirement at age 20?” or “What caused your first big financial mistake?” helps me understand what motivates my clients’ decisions when it comes to saving and spending money.

I’ve even learned important lessons from just observing my clients’ spending habits while they’re on the job, for instance, noticing which employees take time away from work each day without asking permission or getting approval from senior management (which is often frowned upon).

4. People Will Pay You To Talk About Things You’re Passionate About

You can make money by talking about things you are passionate about.

This is the most obvious benefit of ghostwriting, but it’s also the most important. If you like what you do and believe in its value, there’s no reason why anyone else shouldn’t feel the same way. 

In fact, many of my clients have been drawn to me precisely because they share my passion for their topic and many have become good friends along the way!

5. It’s Nice Getting A Paycheck For Your Work

You know what else is nice? Getting paid for your work.

You might think that the money I make as a ghostwriter would make me immune to the sting of rejection, but it doesn’t work that way at all. 

When someone declines my services, they’re not only declining my writing ability; they’re also denying their own ability to buy a book from me and read it and how could anyone walk away from reading something I wrote? (At least, that’s how I feel.) 

But more than anything else, what hurts is being turned down by someone who doesn’t respect my time or talent enough to even consider hiring me in the first place! 

That’s why it’s so important for writers, especially new ones trying to get their foot in the door to remember that there will always be another client waiting out there somewhere who does value them just as much as everyone else does.

Understanding the true essence of ghostwriting is crucial for success. To learn what it means to ghostwrite for someone, delve into the intricacies and responsibilities of this unique profession.

6. Write Because You Want To, Not Because You Need To

To me, writing has always been a passion and not a job. I write because I enjoy it and want to share my thoughts with others.

My life as a ghostwriter has taught me two very important things about writing: First, writing is how you express yourself. 

You share your ideas and thoughts through words so that other people can understand them better than by just speaking them aloud (which doesn’t always work). 

Second, the most important thing about being an author is connecting with your readers if they don’t care about your characters or story, then there’s no point in reading it! We write because we want to connect with others through our words but also learn new things while doing this.

7. Hard Work Pays Off

Remember that old adage, “The more you do, the more you get?”

Well, it’s true. When I started ghostwriting, I was only getting paid to write 500 words a day (and sometimes less), but as time went by and my writing improved, I was able to charge more per word and write longer articles. 

The fact is that if you want to make money at anything, then you have to put in the time and effort necessary for success. 

The more work you do now will benefit your future self later on down the line and even if it doesn’t seem like it right now, trust me when I say that all of your hard work will pay off with opportunities for higher paychecks and better clients down the road!

8. If They Don’t Give You The Pen, Draw On The Walls

When they don’t give you the pen, draw on the walls.

It’s never a good sign when someone draws on walls. It’s even worse when they do it in places where they know they’ll be seen.

In my experience as a ghostwriter, I’ve learned that this is one of those things that happens when you aren’t being heard. The message isn’t getting through, and so you express yourself in ways that feel more honest than what can be communicated with words alone.

9. Learn How Words Form Other Languages And Use Them In Your Writing

When you write for a living, you learn a lot about words and how they work. You also learn about the importance of word choice and how it can make or break your writing. The more ways you have to express yourself in writing, the better off you’ll be when trying to get your point across.

One way to expand your vocabulary is by learning how words form other languages and use them in your own writing. 

“The French expression ‘coup de grâce’ refers to a final blow or stroke given as mercy.” 

This sentence uses coup de grâce as an example from French; if we wanted to say this same thing in English, our word choices would be ‘finishing blow’ or maybe even ‘mercy kill’. We could also do something like “[he] gave him his last chance at life”.

“In Japanese culture my grandfather is called ojiisan which means “respected uncle”.” In this case ojiisan is being used as an example of honorifics; 

If we were translating this sentence into English we’d want something like “my grandfather was respected by everyone because he was so kind”, but keep in mind that there’s no equivalent word for “kindness” here either instead try using another descriptor like “generous”, “patriotic”, etc..

My experience as a ghostwriter has left a lasting impact on my life and writing skills. It shaped me into the writer I am today. For a glimpse into my personal journey, explore how ghostwriting shaped me and provided valuable life lessons.

10. Sometimes Even The Best Writers Get Writer’s Block

As a ghostwriter, you’ll have to get used to the fact that sometimes even the best writers get writer’s block.

Sometimes it lasts for weeks, sometimes for months. And it may come at the most inopportune times like when you’re on deadline or struggling with a topic that requires research and writing from scratch.

The good news is that everyone gets writer’s block from time to time, and as long as you know how to deal with it effectively, there are many ways around it or through it when necessary.

Here are some strategies I’ve learned:

11. Sometimes The Answer Is No, But Always Ask Anyway

I’ve found that sometimes the answer is no, but always ask anyway. It might be that the person you’re asking doesn’t have time to help or they simply don’t want to do it. 

But it could also be that they don’t know how to say yes or are afraid of what other people would think if they did. You never know until you ask!

In my case, I had a client who asked me to write a book on her career as a ghostwriter with many well-known authors. 

She told me she was interested in publishing her own book but couldn’t find the time because of all our regular clients’ deadlines and projects that needed attention first and then there were our two young children at home!

I talked with her about what kind of book we should create together (a guide for aspiring writers) and agreed on an outline for how we would proceed from there: initial interviews with authors whose books she’d worked on in order to get their advice about writing careers; 

Researching topics like setting up your own business as well as tips for getting published and anything else relevant info she could find online; interviewing more professional writers/editors/agents/publicists who had experience working within this field; 

Make sure every chapter included relevant anecdotes from real people who’d done similar things professionally before giving advice…

12. Stop Comparing Yourself To Other Writers And Fellow Bloggers

The past year has taught me that it’s not helpful to compare your work to other writing. It’s also not helpful to compare the success of your blog or business to others. Instead, focus on your own goals and work. 

If you’re worried about how much money someone else is making, don’t worry about it–you’ll only make yourself miserable.

Instead of comparing yourself and your writing with peers, focus on what makes you happy as a writer (and as an entrepreneur). 

You may not see eye-to-eye with everyone in this industry there are probably some people who inspire jealousy within you because they’ve done something with their careers that you wish were possible for yourself. 

But remember that everyone is at a different stage in life. Just because someone else has achieved more than you doesn’t mean he or she is better than you; maybe he/she started earlier than most people in the industry or simply worked harder!

13. Some Of The Best Advice I Can Offer Is To Just Keep Writing!

Some of the best advice I can offer is to just keep writing! Don’t compare yourself to other writers, bloggers or even ghostwriters. Write because you want to and not because you feel like you have to. As long as you are writing because it makes you happy then that’s all that matters.

When I started out in this field, I really struggled with self-doubt about my abilities as a writer and whether or not people would actually buy my work. One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite movies is: “No one knows anything” (Sports Night). 

That quote has always resonated with me and helped me get through some tough times when things weren’t going well in business or personal life.

But don’t let self-doubt overshadow your talents! You are talented! You can do anything if only give yourself a chance at success through hard work and perseverance.

Never give up on yourself because there’s no reason ever stop believing in yourself; never allow others tell them what they cannot achieve — stay true t

Finding the right clients is a game-changer for ghostwriters. Working with compatible individuals can enhance creativity and satisfaction. Uncover the secrets to identifying and attracting the best ghostwriting clients to elevate your career.


Now that you have the information, it’s up to you to use it. Remember: writing is a gift and a curse. It can be hard work but very rewarding if done right and with passion. Don’t let anyone tell you what type of writer they think you should be; just write because you want to!

Further Reading

Thirteen Years as a Ghostwriter: What Have I Learned? Short Description: Gain insights from a seasoned ghostwriter’s 13-year journey, learning valuable lessons and experiences in the profession. URL:

Six Crucial Lessons I’ve Learned on Life, Health, and Ghostwriting Over the Last 12 Months Short Description: Discover important life lessons, health insights, and professional growth as shared by an experienced ghostwriter over the past year. URL:

Confessions of a Ghost Writer: Alexandra Heminsley Short Description: Uncover the intriguing confessions and personal experiences of ghostwriter Alexandra Heminsley in this captivating article. URL:


What is ghostwriting?

Ghostwriting is the practice of writing content, such as books, articles, or speeches, on behalf of someone else who takes credit for the work.

Do ghostwriters receive recognition for their work?

Ghostwriters typically remain anonymous, and their role is not publicly acknowledged. The credit for the written material goes to the individual or entity they are ghostwriting for.

How do ghostwriters capture the voice of their clients?

Successful ghostwriters employ various techniques, including extensive interviews and studying existing written material, to understand the client’s style, tone, and perspective.

Is ghostwriting legal?

Yes, ghostwriting is legal and a widely accepted practice. It is essential, however, to have clear agreements and contracts to protect both the ghostwriter and the client’s interests.

What types of projects do ghostwriters work on?

Ghostwriters can be involved in diverse projects, ranging from novels, memoirs, and blog posts to speeches, academic papers, and corporate content. Their versatility allows them to adapt to various writing needs.