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  • Writer's pictureMariaan Smit

Navigating the Uncharted Waters of Collaborating with an Assigned Editor

I had so many thoughts about how the journey of being a ghostwriter behind novels would be. Somehow, I never imagined teamwork as one of the main factors at play.

Working at an online company has taught me so much, most of all about the teamwork behind creating a novel. Not only do you collaborate with your client, but you also need to collaborate with an editor who has the power to review and change your writing. Writing a fiction novel can feel like a very personal thing, something you easily get too emotionally attached to. In ghostwriting feedback is apart of the process, so is critique. Luckily for me, I have a growth mindset and decided to put my mind above my heart when it came to the judgement aspect of the projects.

The clients choose the editor, just like they choose to work with me. At first this made me very nervous because the editor has the power to judge and potentially change something I spent months writing. Maybe it was the monster in the back of my mind, the one we all have, that keeps taunting us that we're not good enough, that made me so afraid to be judged for my creativity. Alas, as ghostwriters you have to climb this mountain to successfully finish a book. To be judged is after all, just another gateway to becoming a better writer.

Some editors mainly focus on grammar, spelling, and rephrasing. Some has a bigger role, and have to add to the plot where they see fit. Try to appreciate the wisdom of your editor; after all, they might have been an editor way longer than you a writer. They want a great book, just like you do. In my opinion, having an editor involved in the entire process, from the plot outline to the final chapter, is essential for the best results.

Give your editor space and time to do their thing. If it seems like your editor does not like your story, know they are doing their job well. You want someone on your team that has a keen eye and pays attention to all the detail. Critique is not a personal attack, it's an opportunity for growth.

Collaboration as a ghostwriting can and should be a great experience that benefits all the parties involved. I no longer dread the experience of collaboration; I love teamwork. It truly makes the dream work. All that is needed is good communication, kindness, and honesty. I respect an editor's opinion because they bring a much-needed different perspective to the mix. Sometimes we can get so stuck in our own ways that we literally stand in our own way of success.

When it comes to writing a novel, especially ghostwriting, it's important to let go of control and just do the best you can as the writer. Teamwork is such a great tool for creativity to flourish, especially with respect and honesty.



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