Friday, August 17, 2012

Ghosting Through Life

Music Influence: “Seconds to Save Her” Our Waking Hour (Seconds to Save Her, 2011)

I have an aversion to attention. I don't think this is a secret. I shy away from people. Shy away from conversations. Shy away from public contact. I just don't care to socialize. I don't really find it beneficial to me as a person. Other than cultivating my experiences and translating it to paper. Or observing others and translating that into characteristics of my characters.

So it's no secret that I don't crave notoriety like being published would give you. And since I'm not allowed to say I'm never going to publish, (seriously, GPS sent me into the bright light and had my life flashing before my eyes), I've devised myself a plan. Of course, this plan will never have to go into effect but GPS doesn't need to know this. She just needs to be in the dark while I continue my world domination via fiction.

I love to write. I've had that love since I learned how to string sentences together. I enjoying sharing my head space with my characters. (Most of the time.) I enjoy making up stories. What I don't enjoy is interaction. Don't get me wrong, it's amazing to get feedback- good and bad (just not the absolute ridiculous). It's so wonderful to know there are people who read what you write. Enjoy what you spent your hard worked hours on producing. But it feels so awkward to respond to readers. I feel like I can't express to them how much I really appreciate them taking the time to read what I've written. Or what I do say expressing my gratitude sounds contrite and condescending. This must be because I'm socially awkward. I'm the type of person if you talk to me in public, I will put my head down and walk away.


So how does one get out of the conundrum of attention? One solution is ghost writing. Ghost writing- by the Wiki definition- is the act of writing for another person it is officially credited. Lots of big named authors employ ghost writers to help them produce numerous novels in a year. There is even an association of Ghost Writers.

I find this to be an attractive opportunity. One can still write (though through guidelines of another's outline and another's world) and stay out of the popularity race. This might be a better option than my own plan, which consist of GPS turning herself into a version of me and pretending to be me so that I can stand on the sidelines and do what I want to do. Which is write without distractions or interruptions. We're going to do a whole secret identity where I can be the one standing on the sidelines and feeding her the answers to question via a secret communication wire device.

Well, we thought it was brilliant. Correction, GPS thought it was brilliant and I nodded to make her stop harassing me about my “never going to publish” mantra.

Ghost writing, or ghosting, has a multitude of opportunities. They can do anything from non-fiction to blogging. Music writing. Even art. (The last two are beyond my capabilities since I don't have an artistic bone in my body and I'm too long winded for song writing.) Even authors who have been blacklisted and unable to publish in some countries can employ a ghost writer to host their story.

Does anyone else find ghost writing to be fascinating? Would you ever consider this option as a career? Readers- do you shy away from book that are co-authored or are widely known to be ghosting books?


Maureen said...

I remember a mysteries series featuring a society of ghost writers... I thought it sounded fascinating.

I think if you feel that strongly about not going public and having a public voice, then you should consider doing whatever feeds your writing soul, ghost or pen and purposely fabricate a faux public persona.

As for who writes with a ghost? I have no idea who they are. Isn't that the point? ;-) For all I know some of my favorite authors are ghosts!

Marnee Bailey said...

I definitely agree you should do whatever makes you feel right. I like Mo's idea--a completely fake public personality with a pen name and whatever.

And plenty of authors don't really socialize a lot in person or on line. It's ultimately about the story, right?

I think ghost writing seems cool, though, but I'm no good at keeping a secret. So, I doubt it would work for me. LOL!! But, again, if it floats your boat, you should do it. :)

I haven't read anything I've known to be ghosted. And I don't know off hand if I've read anything with a co-author. I need to think about that.

Maria Zannini said...

If I knew HOW to get into ghost writing, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I would much rather ghost write than deal with marketing my own name.

Sin said...

Chanceroo, I can't thank you enough for switching days with me this week. Lifesaver.

I like to think we're all ghosts until we meet someone for real.

Sin said...

I'm going to make GPS meet people if this ever happens to me. I'm going to stand to the side and be her assistant. As long as I don't have to talk to anyone, of course.

Think about all the self-promotion and blogs and signings you might have to do once you get published. That's a lot of socialization. A lot. More than I do in a decade.

Janga said...

I'm in favor of whatever works for you as a writer. I love Maureen's idea of fabricating a public persona, but I'm not sure how long it would work with today's lack of privacy. Now co-authoring with someone like James Patterson would work. His name is the promotion. His co-authors are free to write and cash the checks. Sounds great!

Sin said...

Maria, you might try that ghost writers association link in the text. Although, now that I scroll up, I realize that hyperlinking it in the word doesn't really show up on the screen that it's clickable.

They might have something on that site about getting into ghost writing.

For me, fan fiction writing is like ghosting. You'd never know it was me. Even though my pen name is my initials. And I just don't care about the money you might make from publishing.

Sin said...

Janga, I agree. Co-authoring with a big name would be the best if you were going to co-author. That way he does all the public appearances and his staff handles all the promotion.

The lack of privacy in the world anymore just sucks.

I think the thing I like most about ghosting would be that I could write and never have to worry about showing up anywhere or getting out and making sure people know my name and pick me up. That's someone else's problem.

MsHellion said...

I cannot believe it has taken me this long to realize that Sin is the goth reincarnate of Emily Dickinson. I mean, sure, I'm sure it has to do with that I've never seen her write a poem, but that whole "I don't want to publish" and hiding out in her house or in the background until people start believing she's a figment of their imaginations--yes, very much the same. Sin is like the version of Emily, if Emily had liked boys a lot. *LOL*

I empathize with GPS. We hate to see that much talent to go unrecognized; and as a Pisces, she certainly knows how to spin a fantasy reality. (Of course, making them come true is a different thing altogether. I don't think you have to worry much.)

I would say protect your writing first. So whatever it is that protects your writing, do it. Even if it means hiding out. So long as you're hiding out because it's what you want and not because others say you can't or couldn't do it even if you tried.

Ghost writing. I wish there were more Harry Potter books, but I know I couldn't do them the justice that JK Rowling does. Though I might like to write a few Julie Garwood like historicals--so I don't think I'd mind ghosting that sort of thing. :) I don't know. The more I write and love my story (or at least like it), the more I don't mind the thought of having to hawk the thing--I want to see what people think (at least now, because I haven't had much of the backlash of that where they tell you that you should have never tried writing in the first place.) But then again, I have a real issue about "wanting to be liked" so this doesn't surprise me. If you don't care about being liked, I can see how that person might care more for privacy...

Sin said...

I've seen a lot of people go gaga over this fan fiction written on It's about Snape and Lily. I'm unsure who these people are but apparently it's like God's gift of ff. Do you want me to link you?

MsHellion said...

Yes, that'd be cool. I do love Snape.

Sin said...

I'm trying to manage working, commenting on the blog and getting my stupid weekly post posted to Too many pots on the stove today. So nice to have a working network though.

PS. My poetry is shit. I have some. Would rather die than show it to anyone. Mostly because it's free verse.

PSS. Love Emily. You made my day, Hells.

Maureen said...

I do understand the reluctance to do the marketing. I mean, I do it and have fun, but sometimes I really have to put that pirate hat on before I feel it.

I desperately want to be liked, and read, and hearing from readers is the highlight of my day. And meeting them in person is beyond cool.

The actual marketing and the time it takes is a drag, period.

Sin said...

I've got to be the only person in the world who doesn't care about being liked. I just don't care what others think, other than the people I know. Like my inner circle. My pirates. The rest of the world can go hang themselves.

That sounds terrible. I know. I just can't find any part of me, deep inside, that cares.

P. Kirby said...

FWIW. GPS in my wee little scientific mind is Global Positioning System. Particularly since I did my thesis in remote sensing (satellite stuff) and used GPS back in the day before most people even know what it was; back when it was a pain because some of the satellites weren't declassified yet and you couldn't always get a good signal. So I was like, "What, GPS said what?"

Anyway, I totally feel your pain. After prevaricating for a few weeks, I finally got the courage to plop the first chapter of a fan fic up on a public site. The whole business totally freaks me out, even though it's the land of ff and not publishing for money. Several people have already favorited/followed it and I'm simultaneously pleased and horrified.

My problem is largely with fiction. There's just so much of me in it, that I can't handle feedback: the bad makes me really sad (depressed); and the good makes me uneasy.

I'm not sure ghost writing would entirely solve my neurosis, but I guess it would insulate me somewhat from the whole reader interaction thing.

P. Kirby said...

Oh, and I'd be all over a good Lily/Snape fan fic, so if you'd be inclined to post the link...?

Sin said...

Sure. It's on

You can't quote me on it being great. I don't read HP or HP fan fic. I only took note of it simply because Hells loves HP.

Sin said...

GPS in my world is my bff- Great Pixy Sita. GPS

She's definitely not a GPS. She couldn't find her way out of a paper sack with a compass.

I do wish you'd share with me where you posted. I know how claustrophobic it can make you feel. I posted this morning. A new story. Complete story. Gave me hives to think about it.

Maureen said...

I don't know. It is about being liked. Or maybe it's people liking what I create. I'm not a big people pleaser. And the money is more as a symbol of that sort of like...

Pat, my DH was working in the defense industry and remembers those times!

P. Kirby said...

Maureen. Giggle. Makes me feel old. "Why you kids with yer fancy talkin' GPS. Why in my day, GPS weren't nothin' but a coupla sat'llites and a box fulla coordinates."

P. Kirby said...

Sin. Thanks for the link!

My fic in written in Thor (movie) verse. Dunno if that's your thing. It's over at

Just noticed it has a typo/homonym mistake. *Cringes and feels a greater appreciation for editors who worked on her books.*

Sin said...

I'm going to go look yours up. I read fan fiction for series and manga and anime and movies I haven't even read or watched before. I just enjoy well written fiction.

Same pen name as the blog handle?

Also, you can get a beta even in your category. has a place where you can review all the willing beta readers who act as editors. They can do a range from just typos to keeping canon in the fiction world.

JulieJustJulie said...

Well. It’s late … and so am I, so I’d like to extend my sincere apologies to SIN and the rest of the crew for my rather tardy response. A more sensible person might have just been quiet at this point. But, since “quiet” and “sensibilities” are exactly THE THINGS which bothers me about this post I feel that it would be hypocritical of me to not respond….

“Does anyone else find ghost writing to be fascinating?”
Why yes I do.
“Would you ever consider this option as a career?”
I’d make a lovely ghost I’m sure … but Honestly I feel that this should be a career option for those who cannot use their real identity because they need to protect themselves or their loved ones from the potential social, political, or religious fallout that their being a writer would cause.
“Readers- do you shy away from book that are co-authored or are widely known to be ghosting books?”
No, as long as there is an honest discourse between publisher and reader. If a book is co-authored or involves a ghostwriter/writers I want to know. Why? That way if I am unsatisfied with the end product I don’t blame the primary writer and put them on my “I’ll never buy another thing from that no talent blanketeeblank #@$&! Again!” list.

JulieJustJulie said...

Next I want to talk about Marketing.

Marketing is like shoes.
No style is appropriate for all occasions.
One size does Not fit all.

It seems to me that the current marketing system in the publishing industry focuses on certain expectations of writer/reader interaction on an up-close and very personal level. From a reader’s stand point I love all of this Writer Reader interaction. The blogs, the conventions, in depth intervenes, live chat …. What I don’t like is someone …. anyone …. being made to feel that they could not should not be allowed be published under their own name because they are unable to live up to these media interaction expectations.
“I have an aversion to attention.”
So do a lot of people. From
Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric illnesses affecting children and adults. An estimated 40 million American adults suffer from anxiety disorders.
“So how does one get out of the conundrum of attention?”
Maybe you can. But what if you can’t?
The famous Albert Einstein once said, “I hate crowds and making speeches.” Einstein was a genius, if he can hate crowds and speeches then anyone can. Those people who suffer from this phobia try to avoid places with crowds like shopping malls, weddings, meeting places etc. This is a common feeling for many of us and is called enochlophobia. It can happen to anyone but according to researches the ratio is more in women than in men and it begins in early adulthood. Most people hide their feelings of fear from others and they act like a normal person but from inside …

JulieJustJulie said...

But from inside … I don't know. I don't know because I feel very comfortable interacting with just about anybody on an up-close and very personal level. Which is why I wrote "I feel that it would be hypocritical of me to not respond…." Yes. It would be both wrong and hypocritical not to voice my opinion. Because if the NonQuiet People don't stand up for the quiet ones then who will?
No one.
Bottom line? No one should have to choose to become a ghostwriter because they will be held to a marketing plan that makes them uncomfortable.
Marketing is like shoes.
No style is appropriate for all occasions.
One size does Not fit all.
It doesn't.
And lets face it, what really keeps the readers coming back for more books ... is the quality of the writing.
My opinion.

JulieJustJulie said...

Now. I want to make it very clear. I don’t think that SIN has a disorder. I think that she is a very, Very private person who doesn’t like to chitchat. Yes, I think that she does not like to waste her time with idle talk. Luckily for her fans she’d rather be writing. Unless one sends her an intriguing picture of something interesting, like a sword. Then? OMG!
Trust me, the girl can talk!