A ghostwriter is hired to write literary works that are officially credited to another person as the author. There is normally an included clause for anonymity so the ghostwriter can never steal the person’s thunder, which doesn’t seem quite fair since he/she is the person doing all the hard work!
I’ve ghostwritten material before, in fact even other blogs. Consider this: You may have just come from reading another post on WordPress that I am secretly the author of? Hey, it could happen!
But in the online dating world? You betcha! I’ve created many profiles for people who pay me to compose a creative ad because they’re at a loss for words as to how to best describe themselves or what to say to captivate someone to be interested enough to respond.
I charge a fee for this, which gets rather tricky when my friends approach me and ask me to write one for them “as a favor.”
In instances like this, bartering seems to be the best approach. For instance, I recently did a complimentary profile for a local eligible bachelor acquaintance who just happened to be a renowned surgeon. In return, he took my daughter’s tonsils out for free. That’s a great deal, right? (Especially when you consider that my “chatty” teenager had to be quiet for days ….yay! — and his new cool profile might procure him a wife who births bunches of children with more unnecessary body organs he can operate on all he wants!) That’s a win/win if ever there was one.
By the way, I created his profile headline to go something like this:
I’m Good With My Hands, So Can I Grab Your Heart?
Nobody had to know it involves anesthesia, right?
The big game-changer in all of this was when my female best friend not only asked me to write her a stunning profile, but begged me to go one step further and also compose (on her behalf) any replies to interested respondents. In return she would trade a month’s worth of homemade meals since she was a professional chef. Yum! (Cyrano de Bergerac without the big nose anyone??) Game on!
In the beginning it was easy because my friend didn’t attract many intelligent potential suitors. These dullard men were impressed by anything I wrote that went above “Hey there, Handsome!” or “Wow, you have a nice smile!”
Soon she wanted me to modify her profile so she WOULD draw in a higher caliber of man. Yep, she wanted me to (gasp!) lie about her appearance, her profession, and her hobbies. Within minutes I took her from a mousy brown-haired receptionist in a law office who enjoyed scrapbooking — to an alluring raven-tressed attorney with a passion for naked chess.
(Hey if there can be strip-poker, why not a more intellectual game also played in the nude?)
And by the way, I crafted her profile headline to go something like this:
If You Can Sustain an Objection, Let’s Adjourn to the Bedroom Cuz I’ve Got a Great Rebuttal!
Soon the responses began to pour in like crazy and I was very busy fielding them back with clever, smart retorts. The first week I got paid in lasagna, chicken cacciatore, beef stroganoff, and cobb salad!
I met with my girlfriend to show her all the people I was corresponding with “as her.” She was quite impressed with the lively conversations I was able to develop. But one online dialogue stood out the most for her. It was with someone in the medical field and our messages were full of volleying sexual quips back and forth and our tremendous internet chemistry literally leapt off the screen. Here’s an example of one of our initial communications:
Me: Hi! I’m sure you’re a doctor with a lot of patience. Maybe you’d like to give me a shot?
Him: That depends. Would it all be in vein?
Me: Oh you’re so funny. I can’t wait to hear what you’ll prescribe for my relief from this excruciatingly painful experience of online dating.
Him: Well I’m actually a surgeon, so I hope I make the final cut. You might say I’m The Wizard of Gauze.
Me: Haha. You have me in stitches, Dr!
“Ohhhhh! That’s the guy I want to be with,” my friend announced matter-of-factly after reading page after page of our witty rapport.
“Are you sure he’s the one?” I asked. “Maybe one of the other men would be a better match?”
“Nope, I’ve made up my mind. Can you set up the initial meeting date?”
“Okaaaaay. I’ll write to him tonight,” I hesitatingly confirmed. “Should it be in the day or evening?”
“When are you available?” she inquired.
I stood there incredulous. “Wait! You want ME to go and meet him for you? Am I supposed to sleep with him too??”
She deliberated a moment, then told me that wouldn’t be necessary because she’d take it from there. I looked at her skeptically, but she threw in a fettuccine alfredo PLUS key-lime pie, so at that point I had no choice but to proceed.
The night of the big meeting approached and I was nervous at how to explain this entire complicated predicament. The doctor and I got along famously, just as well in fact as we did when he first hired me to write his dating profile and then again in the recovery room after he’d taken out my daughter’s tonsils.
Handsome, smart, funny. I almost wished I was available to date him. But then I remembered what was happening.
Him: So thank you again Stephanie for handling all these many email responses for me. Boy these women sure like to type, huh? It’s been a really busy week in the hospital and you’ve responded to these even better than I could.
Me: Yes well, I guess that’s what happens when you have a son who breaks his leg in football and needs a cast. Thank you for your medical barter — Can you give me a quick eye-lift next week too?
Him: You’ve earned it, Sugar. And I love how you had me say, “All in vein.” Ha ha. I wouldn’t have thought being so punny could turn a woman on so much. And look at her response about being in stitches after finding out that I’m a surgeon…boy she can certainly hold her own, eh? She must kill the jury in the courtroom. Please write to her immediately and tell her I want to set up a meeting with the woman who entertained me so much!
I wanted to tell him, “Uh, You’re actually having it right this very moment.”
Instead I went home, quickly gathered up my recovering son and daughter, (plus all my deliciously pre-made meals!) and absconded to a deserted mountain cabin.
Whether the both of them finally figured out they were simultaneously paying me to write their emails and that all along, I was actually just talking to ….. myself, I’ll never know. But that will be the last time I dabble in ghost-writing!