I’m a ghost writer who works over the Internet, as every one of my friends knows (all two of them, including the one whose last name starts with an @). I write about what people tell me to write about, and then I sell it to them, copyrights and all, so they can legally say they wrote it. It’s as unglamorous as it sounds. On the upside, I get to research and learn about several interesting topics, which I previously knew nothing about, like roof shingles, pink dog collars, and bacterial vaginosis. I don’t normally get to know where my writing ends up.
However, when people ask me what I do for a living, I usually say I’m a translator or an English teacher for private classes. Those answers usually leave them satisfied.
Now, I live in a country where Internet is widely available (except on Easter), but it’s considered only a tool for e-mailing, chatting, watching porn, and downloading pirate music and videos, AND the only social network website is hi5. Things like payments and working over the Internet are as strange to most people here as second languages are to Americans (as in, only very few know them, and the rest think they’re useless).
When I say I’m a ghost writer (“black writer” in my language, for those of you who want to make a big deal of anything that might have the slightest taint of political incorrectness) who works over the Internet, most people pull their head back a little, making an expression that makes them look like they just heard me fart but aren’t sure they did. Then, they either then look for someone else to speak with, or they ask questions in order to understand better (this usually happens when for some reason, they’re stuck with me).
It’s not the questions that I mind; it’s the expressions on their faces. It’s like trying to teach calculus to a 6 year old child, grammar to George Bush, or dating to me. The best anecdote that exemplifies this is what one acquaintance who sells creams and perfumes said to me, after hearing my explanation on what I do for a living: “Well, see you. And if you see someone who needs creams and perfumes, you let them know about me, and if I see someone who needs….. what you do, I’ll let them know as well.”
Then, I decided to tell people I was a writer, which is technically true. The problem was that they always asked for the title of my book. When I said I hadn’t written any, they asked for the magazines or newspapers I wrote in. That’s when I said “none,” and I had to explain what I do. It always went downhill. People felt I somehow lied or cheated.
On the other hand, people don’t seem to have a problem when I’m say I’m a translator or an English teacher, which is why I tend to say that.
Recently, I had a very interesting and funny (to me) experience. I got really sick, and I was forced to hire other ghost writers in order to meet my deadline with my client. The requirements I asked for were, among others:
– Good English skills
– Original content
– Ability to meet deadlines, including delivery of the first article in 24 hours and completing the whole job in 5 days.
– Ability to write on any subject at all.
These are some of the replies I got:
• “Sir i can do this in better way and you will get the best resutls you want. previous sample work is attached and you can chek it for the quality. hopefully you will work with me. for quries you are more than welcome..”
I loved the “you will work with me” part.
• “Respected Sir,
We have worked on this job before we have good knowledge about it and and i can assure you that i can do an excellenet job on it. I am interested in working with you as a long term service provider. I can assure you the Quality, Uniqueness, plus there will be no Typo, Grammatical & Punctual Errors. We can assure you that we can give you the work on the best short time possible as well as not loosing the quality of the work. Hope so to get a positive response from your side.”
Imagine my surprise when I found out that someone had worked on THIS job already; and without loosing the quality of the work.
• “i will give you goo output to you.for finishing this project i require 8$.”
I can make my own goo for much cheaper.
• “Hi,I can write the articles for you :)”
What? No lol 1337?
I have completed a coures named “Technical Writing and Communication”. So, I can do your job.”
This course is a must for every writer.
• “Respected Sir,
(name withheld) International have many professional writer. Which have written many articles which are published on many reputed directories.”
Fortunately, I have many other candidate, which have written better offer, which I prefer to work with.
I have done a similar job on Cannabis…500+ words articles related to cannabis. I will provide sample here. You can see the buyer’s comments in my rating for it.
I am a medical school passout and my expertise is in medical/health/nutrition related topics. But if you gave me “metal gear solid”(game) or “windows latest version” I will be lost.
I can do this work in 10days easily and I will take care of keyword density as you ask for.
Please, I have one small issue. I will be free from 27th April and not before that.
Looking forward to work with you.
Your writing hand!!”
April 27th happened to be 10 days in the future, and he can easily do the 5 day job in 10 days. At least it gives me time to ask my clients for a 20 day extension, to modify all their needs to medical related topics and to get him a secretary and a company car.
• “Dear Buyer,
I am reaDY TO DO THIS WORK FOR YOU AT THE TIME YOU NEED AS i FAIRD ABOVE.
iF YOU ACCEPT MY REQUEST ,PLEASE SEND TO ME ASAP YOUR CONFIRMATION.
I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARIONG GOOD NEWS ASAP.
From a guy who writes on his profile “The first impression last for ever”
So, what is the lesson to learn from this experience? Is it that you should be who you are regardless of what people think? Or that is better to make your life simpler and avoid problems? Is it that you should to your best to make a great first impression, specially when you are applying for a job?
Well, to me, the lesson is very clear: if you make mistakes on the Internet, some bored ghost writer with nothing to do on a Sunday morning will write an essay about them.