Not Giving Up the Ghost

Ghost TreeWhether or not we want to admit it, I think most writers enjoy the recognition from others for a piece well done. It’s nice to have someone tell you that they read your article, story, or book and that it meant something to them. It’s exhilarating and a bit humbling all at the same time.

So why wouldn’t you put your name on something you’ve written?

When I embarked on my write-a-book-in-a-month journey last year, I fully intended to write, edit, and publish the book myself. But when I got into the actual writing of it, I found some things that made me slightly uneasy. I worried that if certain people (read family and judgy neighbors) saw it, they would think differently of me.

No, I’m not writing anything bad, per se, but sometimes my mind wanders into a direction that may…frighten some people. (Luckily the Hub is a confident and trusting person. Not many guys could help you enact a murder scene in the living room to get the rights and lefts down just so.) And if I discuss some of these topics with people who don’t know me as well, they get a little quiet around me. So I’d rather that only those I’m really close to know my true identity and everyone else sees a pen name.

At other times I ghostwrite. It’s like being a secret weapon in some ways. It gives me the opportunity to write things that I may feel very deeply about, but don’t have to take the heat for the article. That is very freeing.

Especially when it’s a political piece. I’m lucky enough to write for a candidate with whom I share most political views. I’ve done a pretty good job at capturing his tone of voice for all the pieces I do for him. It’s like some kind of weird synergy that we have. And it makes my job quite easy when the articles practically write themselves after the research is done.

Maybe someday there’ll be a whole book with my name on it. But for now, I’ll stay a ghost and a secret.

Many of you will thank me.

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