Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ghost Writing: Zoella and Girl Online

Everything stated in this post in of my personal opinion.

Ghost writing has been a topic that I’ve heard a lot about in recent events. Many famous Youtube celebrities are writing and publishing books, and ghost writing is something that is becoming controversial. One of the more recent events surround a Youtube Zoella and the publication of her book named Girl Online.
            To quickly define ghost writing, it is when a particular client hires a writer to write a book for them, while the ghost writer receives no credit, and the client receiving all of the credit and revenue, although some ghost writers can negotiate a small amount of the profit from the book. It’s most commonly used among celebrities and other to write autobiographies, but although it is sometimes used in fiction.  
            Ghost writing is usually a high paid job, and as I writer I understand why people do ghostwrite. You get paid for doing something you love, and even though you don’t end up with the credit for the final piece, you usually get paid enough money for the job that it really doesn’t matter. If I got the opportunity to be a ghost writer I would probably take it. When it comes to autobiographies, usually not much harm is done. A person wants to tell the story of their life, but doesn’t know who to write it down on paper. So they hire a professional writer to write it for them.
            Ghost writing with fiction is where I have bigger problems. Being a writer is a profession that I think most people take very lightly. Most people don’t understand that being a writer is more than just having an idea for an amazing story; anyone can do that. Being a writer is not only creating the story, but being able to portray it though characters readers will fall in love it, knowing how to portray the story through words in an intriguing way, knowing your way around formatting, grammar, and punctuation, putting time into marketing, looking for agents and a publisher, and being able to push through writers block and times when you feel uninspired. Being a writer isn’t something you just decide over night. It’s something that takes years of dedication from making that first decision to sit down and write a book to the end product when it ends up on bookshelves everywhere. Being a writer is a craft that takes years of practice to perfect, and success will come with much hard work and determination.
            When I first heard Zoella was going to write a book, and a fiction on at that, there was no doubt in my mind that she was going to use a ghost writer. It’s something that celebrities do. They think that writing a book is just another big accomplishment they can add to their resume, and most likely underestimate the hard work that actually needed to go into it.
            It was stated that Zoella had “help” from a editor and publishing team while writing her book, which mostly likely meant a ghost writer. However, I think that many of her fans didn’t know what ghost writing was, or how often it’s used in society. Most of her fans were quick to defend her and throw criticism at those who dared to say that she didn’t write her own book, when in reality, it was probably true. Is anything wrong with using a ghost writer? No, and it’s also completely legal. I think her fans just wanted to believe that Zoella was extremely talented and could do anything she wanted. However, not everyone had the talent to be an amazing writer, and certainly not everyone has to talent to write a bestselling book over the course of one or two years.
            Zoella most likely made the decision to write the book to help her with her personal image. It’s a big accomplishment to post around the internet, and it draws people’s attention and will likely bring in views.  Being a fan of Zoella myself, I don’t discredit any of her talent, and I love her Youtube videos. However, I just find something unsettling about those who use a ghost writer for a fiction book and then take all of the credit for themselves. Seeing Zoella on a book tour and going around signing copies of a book she very likely didn’t write just bothers me. People don’t hire people to paint a picture for them and then call the painting their own, so why should writing be any different?
            I just think that most people think having a good idea the only think you need in order to write a book, but the art of writing goes much deeper than that, and I feel that people who use ghost writers almost don’t respect the art of writing.
            These are just my personal opinions on this topic. Please leave any personal opinions on ghost writing in the comments!


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