When it rains, it pours. It's a saying my mother loves, and right now I'm looking for an umbrella. I've spent every moment on my daughter during the last 26 months, and woke up about five weeks ago with a voice in my head telling me that when it comes to me writing, it was pretty much time to either shit or get off the pot.
So I changed course. I dropped my old blogs (mostly.) I started a new one. I bought journal and got down with the "Dear Diary" crap for the first time in eight years. I wrote 10,000 words on the memoir I didn't even know I had inside of me.
I spent too much money at Borders on books that I hope will steer me in the right direction for my writing career, too much time online trying to learn the ins and out of becoming More than Just a Writer.
That's when it started to rain.
Out of nowhere, an email shows up in my from an individual asking for a ghost writer.
Huh? Moi? Seriously?
The person lives in my home state, and must have come across some of my bylines in local papers and magazines and decided I was the person to tell their story for them.
Wonderful. Awesome. What?
I called, we talked, I became intrigued. And scared. Really scared. Because I have no idea what the hell I am doing.
Oh, I'm not concerned about my writing skills and writing the manuscript for the author. No, I can handle that. But try looking up "Ghostwriting" on google and you're going to spend more time sifting through other ghoster's sites than you are going to find clear and concise information that will basically spell out to a newbie how the hell to connect point A and point Z so the process flows the way it should.
What to charge, what the contract should say, who contacts the agent, and what the general time line is for manuscript completion. And...and...and...right. All those other questions I don't know to ask because I've never done this before.
I posted a few questions about the subject during this weekend's #writechat Twitter party, hoping for some advice. Instead I walked away with a sour taste in my mouth because of a single comment which made me feel like I was too much trouble to even bother responding to.
Then I found one lovely ghoster through my own research who has been kind enough to share some valuable knowledge with me. I'd mention his name, but haven't gotten the green light on that one yet. His kindness made it (almost) stop pouring. The craziness in my head slowed down to a slow and annoying drizzle.
I'm thrilled to have been called. Excited at the prospect, even. But I am scared shitless. Telling my own story? Piece of cake! It's my own ego to worry about if the proposal makes the agents I query point and laugh. Quite another when it's someone else's work!
I know that no matter how much time I have to prepare, the first time I do anything I am always deliciously terrified. I haven't committed to the project yet, but when/if I do, it's going to be the scariest first-time-ever for me in recorded history...until the next project comes along.