The ancient Egyptian scribes were exclusive personal writers for members of the government and royal court. Think of ghostwriters as modern-day scribes. We have a certain panache when it comes to storytelling for our clients, who typically are not members of some official royal court. They are everyday folks with something important to share, but either lack the ability or time to execute it.
I’m Jason Roberson, a seasoned ghostwriter. I’ve drafted speeches for CEOs of Fortune 100 companies. I’ve ghostwritten book manuscripts for professional athletes, politicians and business executives — none of which I’m contractually permitted to discuss in detail. I’ve even written a book on cooking with quinoa, and I don’t eat quinoa.
I got my start at an early age. In high school, I helped my dad write his Sunday morning sermons. For my undergrad degree, I majored in news editorial journalism. I then spent 20 years as an award-winning business reporter and editor for newspapers and magazines across the country. In between journalism roles, I worked for large PR firms, often taking on the responsibility for coaching fellow associates on the art of writing.
As a ghostwriter, my role is to be water — shapeless, universally appealing and agile. The client’s needs structure my writing. I divest myself of personal writing preferences and become the client’s voice. (Simple water typically means avoiding words like ‘panache’ used in first paragraph.)
First, I interview the client. I’m listening to how they talk, what they want to say in the work for which I’m being hired and how they want to be portrayed by the audience. We then set a project timeline and a schedule for how often we’ll meet. To stay on task, I now use specific software and lean on my business partner Jarrod Fitch.
One recent politician client kept an extremely busy calendar, often flying across the country every week on speaking engagements. We front loaded our time together to make sure we had a solid outline and a firm understanding of the objectives. We then committed to chatting by phone for 30 minutes every week. The result: I wrote this client’s bestselling book in less than two months.
Not every client wants a book. Clients have hired The M.A.B. for speeches, white papers, case studies, magazine columns, etc. The nature of the project doesn’t matter. We have a panache for serving refreshing water to our royal court of clients.