The Official Website of Author L.A. Mitchell

The Boundaries of Ghostwriting

Link...Tried to get organized on... on the 13th day of April, 2015


Since my first ghostwriting project five years ago, I have nurtured a steadily-growing stable of clients who return to me for additional work. A typical year also brings in several new clients. This month, however, marked a first for me: saying no.

Let me clarify by saying that I am extremely selective with the projects I accept. Ghostwriting zaps an enormous amount of creative energy, often to the exclusion of other coaching and editing projects. So by the time we are in serious negotiations, I’m fairly confident that I’ll see the project to completion. Wheelhouse projects like romance and YA and fantasy often seem inevitable. More careful consideration is given to middle-grade and non-fiction.

This project seemed the perfect fit with the ideal client. In time, however, it transitioned out of my comfort zone.  My desire to hit a home run for my client wrestled with my muse. Dollar signs faced off against the prospect of seeking out something else to fill the scheduling void. After five years, I know no project will ever fit to perfection, but in those low-lows that are inevitable in every project, would I have regrets about this editing project-turned-ghostwriting?

And that’s when I realized my limits as a ghostwriter. Even if it only begins as a seed, the passion must be present from the project’s inception. I will only ghostwrite what speaks to the reader inside me. I cannot own, even partially and cloaked in anonymity, any project that pushes me past the boundaries I have set for my own writing career. Maybe having a sizable stable of clients affords me that luxury. Maybe if freelancing were my only means of financial support, I would think differently. Saying no was difficult but necessary. My client deserves no less than the best, and anything beyond my comfort limitations wouldn’t have been my best.

On another note, I’m making an effort toward a true social media plan this week: consolidating accounts, starting new accounts, making an effort with some, taking others to the next level, giving thought to consistent branding across all SM. I hope you’ll visit my contact page and link with me on the SM platform you prefer.

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