Shhh … It’s a Ghostwriter

????????????????????????????I’ve done ghostwriting for more than 20 years. It’s a career that we don’t hear a lot about. After all, our job is to write for someone else and let them take credit. This is a profession for people who know how to keep their mouths shut. For this reason, it’s pretty rare when ghostwriters come forward and talk about their projects.

Last weekend, Andrew Neiderman admitted that he’s ghostwritten more than 70 novels for popular author Virginia Andrews. since her death in 1986. Although Neiderman had never met Ms. Andrews, they did share an agent. It was the agent who requested that Neiderman finish her novel. Although the family admitted that they’d found someone to continue her work, his identity remained a secret.

Like all good ghostwriters, Neiderman admits he has a gift for mimicking people’s style. So it did not surprise me that he is now a grandfather who successfully writes for adolescent girls. His NPR interview was an interesting behind-the-scenes look into the life of a ghostwriter.

Ghostwriting is a fairly common and accepted practice in the world of non-fiction. However, I think fiction fans are a little less forgiving. I believe that many feel deceived when they learn that that a ghostwriter is behind their favorite novel. Others, I would hope, are happy that their favorite novels continue to be produced, regardless of who ultimately writes them.

What do you think? Would you feel deceived if you learned your favorite author was no longer writing their own work?2

Baby Steps to Success

colorful threadOrganizing is a constant challenge. I love quilting and, after amassing a large collection of fabric, I moved onto purchasing thread. I kept 100+ spools in a bin that was labeled “Thread.”

My daughter, who also loves sewing, called the bin of thread “horrifying.” She spent an hour or so organizing the spools, by color, into specialty thread storage containers.

I have to say that I love my organized thread. It’s an oasis of organization. Small steps, like this one, eventually lead to big results.

Today, blog about a small step you took that made a big difference.

Bad News, Anyone?

Lifestyle choices.I love quilting. Not the kind of quilt that grandma makes from her scraps of clothing! I love quilts that are made from beautiful new fabrics, and sewed together in breathtaking designs. I love the kind of quilts that earn $100,000 in prize money at a show. As a fifth generation quilter, that love of fabric and stitching is in my blood.

So it’s no surprise that I wanted to be a world-class quilter. However my dreams were shattered (literally) by a car accident that herniated most of the disks in my neck. Although I was doing well showing my quilts at the local level before I was injured, the odds were still stacked against me about making it to the top of the quilting world. After the injury, I didn’t have a chance.

This realization was very, very painful. After three years of thinking otherwise, I finally recognized that I had neither the talent nor the determination to become a top player in the quilting world. Even if I was talented and determined, I was no longer willing to endure any more neck pain. I had to find a new career. Nobody, not even my doctors, were willing to give me this bad news. I figured it out myself.

Now that I’m a coach (and a writer), I hear a lot about dreams. I know about the law of attraction and thinking positive. I know about 10,000 hours of work to achieve mastery. And about the amazing strength of the human spirit. But I also see people being sold a lot of dreams that, realistically, aren’t attainable for most of them — even with positive thinking.

They’re like me, who was trying to pretend that I didn’t have neck pain and wasn’t willing to give up. Sometimes I think we need to find coaches who can help us recognize what we can do … and not promote what we can’t. Because, once we have the courage to close the door on a dream, we’ll be able to consider new possibilities that might be even better.

I’m not sure that anybody would hire a coach who advertises themselves as a dream-killer, but — in certain cases — that kind of coaching could do a whole lot of good! I know that I could have used someone like that to help me.

Today, blog about a time that you got (or had to give) bad news.