Ghostwriting: Art or Business

The Eyes of the Moose – collaboration with David Ranking Johnson and Mark Graham Communications

Writing is, of course, an essential in our world, first and foremost. We write emails galore, text even more, journal for fun and introspection.  We write lists that guide our days.  We leave notes for our kids.  We leave ourselves notes to inspire, motivate, or just to remind us of whatever it is we need to be reminded of.  We keep our calendars. We scribble entries in our diaries. We scribble on stickies, on napkins, on legal pads.

Writing verges closer to art when we try our hands at more expansive things like poetry and prose, short stories and essays, plays and novels, memoirs and biographies, self-help books and books of inspiration. At some point, with practice and self-discipline, and more practice, maybe we actually cross over into that illusive plane where writing does become art. It’s a wonderful goal. Just the pursuit alone is worth the effort.

Ghostwriting may be a business first, because ghostwriting is essential plying a trade, but it is not a business to pursue if you haven’t pursued the often-illusive art of writing. Most accomplished ghostwriters are highly published in their own right, and that is often used as a benchmark for the art of writing. No, a published author is not automatically an artist, but a published author is generally travelling the path of pushing his or her craft in the direction of artistry. Again, it’s about the goal. It’s about the pursuit.

An accomplished ghostwriter will have the credentials, but mostly what an accomplished ghostwriter has is the desire to use his or her craft and burgeoning artistry to make a living, which also means he or she will more than likely have the work ethic that it takes to pursue writing and/or ghostwriting as a career. Yes, it’s work.  Hard work.

Like so many things in life, you have to write to get better at writing. You don’t sit around and wait for inspiration. You write yourself to the point of inspiration, and then you keep going. Ghostwriting is another way to practice your craft and strive for artistry. If you’re able to make a living doing so, your very likely getting better every day, and that is part of the pursuit.