The best thing happened the other day! My client sent me a photo on Messenger. It was a picture of him smiling from ear to ear, holding a preview copy of his new book. I can’t tell you how happy that picture made me. I felt genuine joy – for his joy!
It’s a strange thing to be a ghostwriter sometimes. You see there are different levels of ‘giving of yourself’ when it comes to the writing process, and for the most part, you do so in anonymity.
However, when you work in the healing & transformational field as I do, that giving goes way beyond your name, your time and your professional expertise – it’s about the alchemy of words – a magical tapestry of codes meant to activate that spark within for those who are ready to receive. it’s about giving a healer a voice to heal others – through words on a page.
As a business writer, report writer, tender writer, or copywriter you are trained to ‘give of yourself’ – you provide your knowledge of marketing and your knowledge of what words to put together to persuade, educate, motivate or engage. You weave the two together and you sprinkle just enough of your self to give the writing that edge – your touch. Ultimately, of course, it’s not your writing to own. Your words belong to a faceless entity! And you, as the writer, are generally not visible to that entity – even though you ‘gave of yourself’. By the time any such writing hits the press or the website, your hard skin has generally grown a few more layers as creative concepts have had the living daylights shredded from within, but you give of yourself for the required time, and then you wave goodbye – already turning to the next campaign – all in exchange for a salary of course.
It’s an altogether different story when you ghostwrite a memoir in this genre. The process reminds me of setting kindling alight as you build a fire. You have to nurture those first sparks ever so gently, giving just the right amount of assistance, shielding the tiniest sparks and gradually building that fire piece by piece, before you step back to see what takes. I’ve never been able to explain my sense of pride when I finally get that fire going, other than it must surely ignite something within at the most primal level. It feels like a reward for such an investment in time, skill and a certain amount of nurturing and care. It feels like you gave of yourself completely in exchange for all that the fire provides. It goes straight to the heart of creation itself – the Divine Spark.
Throw human relationships into the mix and you can see it’s an altogether different scenario. For example, up until now, I have referred to the commissioner of the said book as Client A, for professional reasons and to help him keep his powder dry until the pre-ordained time. However, the fact of the matter is, working with the same person for over a year, hearing their stories and experiences, documenting emotions, thoughts and feelings – well – you get to know a person. We are not faceless entities to one another (even though the very term ghostwriter implies I am invisible). We are both well aware of what the other is bringing and entrusting to the process.
The fact that I felt joy in seeing that picture tells me something! I’m in the right ‘job’ (though it truly never feels like a job). And I’m doing that job for the right reasons.
In ghostwriting this memoir, I gave of myself because this is a person’s life, his hopes, dreams, ambition and future and he has trusted me with his story. And these aspirations are central to my story too …
To write books! To help dreamers become writers and to help writers become authors. To make a difference. To create books that help others. Words with meaning! For me – that’s what it’s all about. The growth. The transformation. Between us – we created something that was not in the world until now – and who knows hopefully we both get the chance to help another person along the way. When you ask what the return is on the ‘giving of yourself’ and giving away of your name, you only have to look at the photo to understand.
The most exciting part for me in all of this is the healing that occured in the writing process – in places where you would least expect. As Peter says “I thoroughly recommend everyone does this – writing your story – It’s something you need to do. When you connect with your story it can be so healing , not just for you but for your family and everyone around you.”
So here it is, his debut title Searching Spirit (by my client and my friend) Peter Williams.
Peter’s official launch is on 18th August, 2019 though the title is already available online through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all the usual suspects. Bookstores will begin to stock in the next fortnight so I’ll bring you all the news as it hits the shops.
In the meantime, if you’d like a wee sneak peek head on over to Amazon