I’ve been doing a fair bit of ghostwriting lately and I take my non-disclosure agreements (NDA) seriously. I never share anything about my work. It makes me feel proud of myself but in an undeserving way. Like when I pat myself on the back for doing laundry or loading the dishwasher or some such other basic expectation. I know an Atta-Boy isn’t warranted for adhering to the most fundamental rule of a non-disclosure; i.e., not disclosing. So, you can imagine the self-congratulatory celebration that happens when I actually do something that goes a bit beyond the call of duty, like picking someone up from the airport or sticking to a skincare routine for more than one night.
Anyway, the thing about ghostwriting and the NDA is that you lose the opportunity to add to your profile. And that’s a shame because I’ve been doing some great stuff for my recent clients.
I find that I get most of my work from Europe. Interestingly, from the UK and Ukraine. And I say that it’s interesting because, through one of the popular DNA kits, my brothers and I have learned that our ancestry traces back to the UK and Ukraine (perhaps something of my cultural heritage shows up in my writing?). For most of our lives, we believed we descended solely from the UK. However, it turns out that apparently Grandma was getting a little sumpin’-sumpin’ on the side back in the day and the result was my mom.
You may notice that I have a tendency to digress. It’s something that happens in my personal writing. In my professional writing, I’m very focused and on track. But when I write for myself, I like to let my brain splash around in the stream of consciousness a bit. It’s a little reward for being so good when it’s doing paid work.
I find that many people who aren’t writers, and probably some who are, are not down with the whole ghostwriting thing. At first, when I say I have a paying gig, people are happy for me. But when they realize that I’ve signed away my rights to any profit or recognition for the work, they are aghast.
But, 1) I’m getting paid, and I left Cubicle World to try to make it as a paid writer, so it fits with my goal; and 2) what I’m writing about wasn’t my idea. And since it wasn’t mine, I never would have written about it in the first place, so there wouldn’t have been any potential to make money/get recognition anyway.
If I’m going to get rich and famous, or at least compensated and recognized, it will be for my words about my own thoughts and ideas. Sometimes it is a little disappointing when I come up with something that’s particularly funny or poignant and can’t share it with one of my creative pals. But, when I send it off to the client and I get feedback that they love it, or it’s wonderful, or it’s just what they were looking for, I feel proud of myself. And that’s an Atta-Boy I know I deserve.