One chief executive officer of a drug store chain barked at me, "I'm not used to dealing with creative people. Now I see that sometimes you just don't have it. This article for my byline for our company newsletter isn't me. It isn't interesting. It isn't informative." He was right. Sometimes we just don't have it.
So, how do leaders in commerce, politics, and nonprofits increase the odds that the ghostwriter they contract with "has it?"
Well, ask those you're interviewing for assignments if they have sources of income other than ghostwriting. Those could include part-time jobs, freelance work outside the communications field, a trust fund, and entitlement programs such as disability or Social Security. That makes all the difference.
The neuroscientific reality is this (or at least as I have experienced it). The growling and scratching of the wolf at the door shut down the risk taking necessary to produce content that has enough information and insight to resonate. Fear is the enemy of creativity. In this situation, no, necessity is not the mother of invention.
For that very reason, ghostwriters who are seemingly flakes are likely the best bet for producing content that will get the job done, with a touch of genius. Beware the buttoned-down ones who are presenting themselves too closely aligned with prevailing personas for professional success.
Yes, I have other streams of income other than ghostwriting. I will never have it otherwise again.