Month: September 2021

This is YOUR moment to begin creative writing!

Many people believe that writing is all about talent — and that unless you were “born with it”, you’ll never become a great writer. The truth is more complex. Although some people have are innately drawn to beautiful language, we can all become better writers. 

If you believe Malcolm Gladwell, it takes about 10,000 hours of practice and hard work to become an expert at almost anything. The more you write creatively, and the more often, the better you will get. By exercising this skill, you will learn from your rookie mistakes, break through the roadblocks, and start to conjure words you can truly be proud of into existence.

How can you get started with creative writing exercises? It’s easier than you may think. 

On the practical side, you will want to:

  • Set up a schedule. You may not want to write creatively every day, as allowing all you learn to percolate in your brain is ultimately going to be beneficial, but aim for two, three, four, or even five days a week.
  • Let go of the idea that you need inspiration to be creative. Just do it. On the same note, discard the idea that your efforts are worthless if the writing you produce isn’t actually any good. You will get better.
  • Create a comfortable working area for yourself, where you won’t be interrupted.

Not sure where to get started with your creative writing? You could always try:

  • Writing about your day… from the perspective of a completely random stranger you encountered at the bus stop or grocery store. Imagine that person’s life in as much detail as you can. What are they struggling with? What are their hopes and dreams?
  • Penning that angry letter to that nasty coworker, old school mate, or your brother. 
  • Dipping your toes into speculative fiction by imagining what kind of technological, environmental, and social changes will have shaped the world 20 years from now.
  • Describing life from the point of view of your cat, dog, or that fly on the wall.
  • Sharing what you’d do if you were suddenly transported back in time, to the world your parents grew up in. 
  • Thinking about what you smell, hear, and feel right now. Try to describe it as poetically as possible.
  • Ranting about the world as someone whose religious and political views are the polar opposite of your own.
  • Imagining that you have the chance to win a trip to the travel destination of your dreams. All you have to do is explain why deserve to be picked! 

Now, make your own list of creative writing prompts — quite the creative exercise in itself! Sure, you can find plenty online, and although the ideas you’ll find can challenge and inspire you, see what your own mind can come up with as well.

If you want to practice your creative writing skills, you have no choice but to actually put some words down. Writing stories itself is, however, far from the only way to hone your skills. To be a creative writer, you will need imaginative and unique ideas, but also technical knowledge. You can make strides in that area by:

  • Challenging yourself to read plenty of books from all genres and lots of different time periods.
  • Reading back over your old writing and seeing if you’re overusing a particular set of words. Ban yourself from using your go-to nouns and verbs for at least a week. 
  • Studying different sentence structures and encouraging yourself to branch out.
  • Forcing yourself to use new words, and, if you typically stick to particular genres or themes, go beyond them.
  • Asking others — if need be, complete strangers on online creative writing groups — for brutally honest feedback on your writing.

Becoming a better creative writer means leaving your comfort zone. Set challenging but achievable tasks for yourself every day, and you will make enormous progress.

What is a ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter is a writer who doesn’t write under their own name or even a pseudonym. The credited author for the work written by a ghostwriter is different from the ghostwriter.

You can call them freelance writers. Ghostwriters are hired to handle a variety of work ranging from speeches and journalistic work to literature.

The only thing that the ghostwriter gets is money for their writing service. Ghostwriters are fairly common. Authors outsource entire works or parts of their work to ghostwriters – who typically have wildly varying rates depending on the quality of their work – and publish the work as their own.

The author who contracts a ghostwriter owns 100% ownership and the copyright over the work.

Why do ghostwriters do what they do?

The goal of a ghostwriter is to make money doing something they love – writing. Whether they are writing for other authors or those in need of professional writing help makes no difference to them.

Professional ghostwriters have a no-questions-asked policy when it comes to the actual publishing details or the purpose of the written text as they don’t burden themselves with where or how will their work be published.

A ghostwriter’s work will likely be edited in some capacity and that’s perfectly fine with them. The real identity of a ghostwriter is never disclosed. As the original writer isn’t credited at all, these writers are like ghosts – and thus the name.

Ghostwriting considerations

People have a number of questions regarding how ghostwriting works and ghostwriters in general.

  • There’s nothing wrong with being a ghostwriter. It’s a perfectly legal profession.
  • Ghostwriters generally sign a contract of confidentiality with the contractor or client. They cannot raise any claim to the work once it’s submitted and they’ve been paid.
  • Payment methods differ from writer to writer. For example, some charge a percentage of the royalties whereas others have a flat rate or even a per-page fee.
  • The job of a ghostwriter is just like that of a writer. The only difference is that they won’t get credited for their work. As such, the other aspects of writing such as research and editing are also included in a ghostwriting job.
  • There are ghostwriters for nearly every topic and genre. Nonfiction ghostwriters and academic paper ghostwriters are in higher demand than others.
  • The ghostwriter does not get credit. They cannot claim the work as their own or show it as their own publicly. It’s the ghostwriter, not the ghost author. They will not be mentioned anywhere, neither do they have any right to the work.

Why would someone hire a ghostwriter?

There can be many reasons for hiring a ghostwriter. Perhaps an author cannot write something they wish to or need to – in which case a suitable and professional ghostwriter’s expertise will come in handy.

One of the most commonplace examples of a writer hiring a ghostwriter is to fill the gaps in their writing ability.

For example, writing about an extraordinary life or an adventure isn’t the cup of tea for every author. They might be lacking certain creative or imaginary skills. They can supply the initial material, theme, or key details to the ghostwriter who then puts their writing skills to use and comes up with a first-rate manuscript detailing the story just the way the author wished.

It’s not just authors who hire ghostwriters. Teachers, business owners, influential personalities and celebrities, entrepreneurs, or even research students hire ghostwriters to delegate their writing work.