My guest today is Lynn Wolf, an award-winning poet and a published editor and author. She has also written, produced, and acted for the independent filmmaking community. But, of all her talents, I'm most intrigued by Lynn's ghostwriting. She kindly agreed to share some insight into that field.
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The Writer Behind the Curtain
by Lynn Ellen Wolf
Hello, I'm Lynn Wolf, and I'm the voice behind the curtain. I'm a professional ghostwriter, and I'm able to fulfill my love of writing by helping writers fulfill their love of storytelling. While some people consider it 'cheating' to have someone else write their book, that's not what ghostwriting is about. At least, that's not what professional ghostwriting is. What we do is help people who have great stories to tell, but might not have all the writing tools to tell it. Quite a few times I've also been approached by a storyteller whose native language is not English, and they just need someone to write their story in English. Either way, it's a win-win situation for both of us.
I wasn't always a ghostwriter; I've done my fair share of writing in my own name, in various pen names, and have gone through the same submission and rejection process as every true aspiring writer. I've studied, practiced, and I continue to refine my craft with workshops and daily writing exercises. When I started editing for other writers, I found that I loved coaching, teaching, and showing other writers how to develop their own writing, and from time to time, a few people asked me to write for them. They had a story, but they didn't have the confidence or the time to study the craft. Well, I had the time and the craft, so my services evolved to include ghostwriting.
The best gig for me is when I'm approached by an author who knows their characters, knows their story, and has a good idea of where it begins and where it ends. My job, then, is to flesh out these characters and tell that story in such a way as to please the readers. So far, my collaborations have been both pleasant and successful. It's not important to me that my name be on the cover; I'm just proud to do the best I can and to see a smile on the face of the storyteller who created the world inside.
Being a ghostwriter isn't for everyone; it's difficult sometimes to quench the ego, or to write a story as someone else sees it when I see it differently. I must maintain an open mind at all times and remember that the story isn't mine; I'm just painting by numbers – the picture my client drew needs color, and I wield the brush.
One of the best payoffs for me, though, is that I am deeply inspired by the people I work for. I find myself driven to write more for myself and finish some of those dusty WIPs I set aside long ago. I'm happier about writing and don't see it as a job so much as I appreciate it as a gift.
When I first started studying the craft of writing, I couldn't have predicted that I'd end up as a writing coach and ghostwriter – and loving it –but that's exactly where I am. I love my clients, love their stories, and I'm grateful that they trust me with the brilliant expressions of their imaginations.
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Want to hire Lynn Wolf? Inquiries may be sent via email to lew[at]lynnellenwolf[dot]com.