The Dharma of the Ghostwriter

Vajrasattva by Ernest Fung, Creative Commons License (c) 2009-2016

Blissy day. An article I wrote for a client has been picked up by a national industry publication and is getting fantastic and widespread exposure. I’m going to tell…absolutely no one.

I won’t tell anyone because I’m a ghostwriter. People pay me to write things that they can publish in their own name. It’s a pretty magical way to make a living, considering the sun is just coming up on this brutally cold morning and I’m tucked into my office with hot coffee, a furry blanket and unicorn slippers.

It’s good here.

Sometimes though, my ego gets riled and wants to tell everybody “Hey, I did that. How awesome am I?”

That’s why ghostwriting is my dharma. Every day it puts my ego on notice, helping me learn with each word that it’s not the acclaim we get, but the good we put out into the world that matters.

I truly believe this, not only on mornings like this when the idea of writing from home, all by myself, is perfectly blissful. I also believe it on days when I’m weary of staring at this glowing screen and may do something rash if one more client emails one more “thought” about their latest project.

Some believe the work we do should change the world. I believe that all change starts within. Every time my client’s article gets exposure (and I don’t), every time my customer gets more readers to his blog, every single time I send off a piece of my work, my art, into the world with someone else’s name on it, I grow. I become less about my ego and more about my soul.

That’s a blessed, magical way to make a living.

(Post first appeared in the Insights Group blog as part of the 7-day #ourcertainway challenge.)

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