Ghost Writing Challenges

Ghost Writing

By Hemali Ajmera (India)

I have come across very few writers who write solely for the joy of the craft. The commercial aspect always seeps in eventually. Most good writers try to blend the commercial aspect with the sheer joy of creating something that has truly inspired them. The resulting product is therefore unique.

Most writers write with their reader in mind. What would they like to read? What kind of language creates the greatest impact?  How they can develop the plot line to make it compelling?

So what happens when you are asked to be a ghost writer? Do you have the same creative liberty as an author? The answer is no. A ghost writer is mirroring the thoughts, aspirations, and desires of the person whose name will appear in the credits.

I discovered that being a ghost writer is difficult because the person I wrote for did not always agree with the way I had interpreted his notes. I find I need to be extremely flexible and open to considering another person’s perception. The goal as a ghost writer is to produce a product that pleases the author and the audience.

I have written two books as a ghost writer and currently in the process of writing a third. All the books are non-fiction. The author already knows his target audience. He is clear about the topics each chapter should contain. This considerably reduced the burden on me because I knew exactly what I had to write about.

The toughest part was condensing an extensive amount of research into a simple and reader friendly format and allotted number of pages. I had to get approval from the author every few pages. Only if he was satisfied could I go ahead with the next part of the book. As a consequence, ghost writing stifled my creativity. The things I thought should be in the book did not necessarily agree with the vision the author had for the book.    

In general, a ghost writer is like a content writer, who with his/her writing skills enhances the quality of content and readability of a book, thereby elevating the image of the actual author. 


ghost writing