I answered this ad on Craigslist. (Man, I wonder how many heartache stories begin with THAT line). To make a long story short, I ended up contracting with a guy to help write his book. This is commonly known as ghostwriting, right? Tis a fine story, this one. So sit right back and I’ll tell you a tale, lads and lasses.
The first few meetings were tenuous, each of us feeling our way through, a lot like a first date. I was hesitant because I’d had sunshine blown towards me nether regions in the past and I didn’t have much interest in wasting my time. As it turns out, he had good reason to be hesitant because fully every person thus far who had responded to his ad turned out to be a flake.
We did figure out that in fact we were a pretty good match for his project. He had been carrying the idea for his book around for a good number of years. He had bits and pieces here and there. He had a strong vision for what he wanted as an end result and he needed the services of someone whom he could trust to do a good job and help him put the pieces together.
Last year we had dinner, he wrote me a check and we got started.
So, I’m assuming you would like to know how things progress, no? Well, I’ll tell ya.
I started the project by receiving what he had put together already. He had a number of notes and a few loosely formed chapters on the topic. By the way, the topic of the book deals with a facet of his field of expertise in counseling. I collated the material and figured the best way to set direction and get started in the process of moving forward was to develop a good Table of Contents. This would help the both of us to identify any gaps in material. It would also help us to determine the flow of material.
It turns out this was precisely what the both of us needed to kick start the process. Over the course of several months, we met and discussed what was to be included and what should maybe be left out. I could tell he was getting excited about the forward movement. Remember he had been carrying this book idea around for years.
The contract we had signed outlined a loose set of parameters for milestones and a general time line. If we followed it to the letter, the book should have been completed in mid-January. Well, December rolled around and it didn’t look like we were going to be anywhere close to completion in January. The funny thing was, neither of us were too stressed about it. Sure, it would have been nice to have that last third of the contract money right after the holidays, and I know he is waiting with bait-like breath to have a bound copy in his hands, but as I said, we were both okay about things.
The (almost) rest of the story will follow next week.
Posted by: George