Friday, January 15, 2010

My Life As a Ghost (Writer)

My name is Amanda Vogel, and I'm a ghost writer.

Ghost writers are called ghost writers because everyone is supposed to pretend the person (often a celebrity) with his or her name on the cover actually wrote the book. The real author is invisible.

Psst, see that book pictured above, Transformative Yoga? I wrote it.

My friend Wade Morissette is cool and laid-back, so he lets me tell people I wrote his book for him. He instructed me on what to put in each chapter, and I made it sound all pretty. Add his sister Alanis's foreward to the mix, and you've got a rockin' little yoga book!

"What's In It For Me"?

My friends and family don't fully understand why I'd write a whole book just so someone else can get the credit for it. Well, I didn't do it for free!

But apart from that, it's fun--and, I think, necessary--for self-employed people in particular to test out new career opportunities.

It keeps things fresh, fun and moving forward.

For example, being Wade's ghostwriter means I've asserted myself as a member of his entourage to all book-related gigs.

There's the time I tagged along to Raincoast Books, Transformative Yoga's Canadian distributor, where one of my fave authors David Sedaris also happened to be that morning (a surprise to me). I met Sedaris and scored a signed copy of his new book When You Are Engulfed in Flames. Sweet!

This week, I invited myself to the set of Shaw TV's Urban Rush, where Wade sailed beautifully through his guest appearance on the show and I got tips for how to advise fitness pros on TV-related publicity (a future blog post).

Back in the green room at Urban Rush, I helped myself to an unreasonable number (for a fitness instructor) of butter-based pastries and reflected on what I'd learned from my ghost writing experience. Maybe these thoughts apply to your career, as well.

Expect the Unexpected
Every new career move has the potential to lead to other perks and opportunities you might not have predicted but fully enjoy. It's good to avoid always expecting the same outcomes at work.

Enjoyment Is In the Experience
I enjoy making money and getting recognition. I really do. However, the very best career opportunities are made of more than that, yes? They're fun. They're unique. They're exciting. They're an experience, not just a job.

Your Success Lies with Others
The measure of your success isn't solely about what you do for yourself. It's how you help others to be successful alongside you. Fitness pros who assist clients with becoming fitter and healthier experience this kind of success every day.

As for Transformative Yoga, Wade has a cool book, and I've got a new job skill and a signed Sedaris book. Everyone's happy. Are you? What has helped you be successful in your own career?


Loewen Behold said...

I would have to say collaboration/paternship. And I agree Amanda; its a win - win. The book just ends up being better all round, and that's gotta be a good thing.

Susan said...

Call it what it needs to get called. You're writing. For a living. That's amazing to me! Ghost-writer, fitness writer, book writer...all good. Just don't become an under-writer.

Congrats on the book!

Anonymous said...

-Expect the unexpected: I agree

-Enjoyment in the experience: hah, I totally agree about the money part, but also it is great fun to try a new avenue and find out that, "Yes, I can do it!" Nothing like the nerves of something new keeping you up at night, and once success in the experience happens, the giddiness of being wired the next night, not because of nerves, but stoked you did something new and exciting.

-Your success lies with others: In my new business venture I have learned quickly that I can depend on no one, yet I depend on everyone! How is that? The greater your center of influence network (c.o.i.n) is, the better off you are. Be seen, but better yet, be seen as someone not afraid to try something new and different.

Another lesson learned, "If doors don't seem to open up as easy as you thought, all it may be needing is a nice little kick."

Great post!