Many high-stakes transactions require a formal written essay, proposal, presentation, report, or review. The result must be a homerun. In a sense, the process in binary: Win and it's a big win or lose.
For example, the student in medical school is applying to Yale Hospital for a residency. The enterpreneur is seeking investors in the startup. The executive is pitching to the Board of Directors for a stay of execution on the project.
Yet, formal writing skills are not developed in the curriculum in the sustained manner they had been when we Baby Boomer ghostwriters were going to elementary and high school and attending college. Therefore, what the DYI (Do It Yourself) movement demands for people to bypass the experts doesn't exist. In RECON INTELLIGENCE SERVICES, Jeremy Conaway observes that confidence and knowledge are prerequisites for the leap from being tethered to an expert and trying to put it together oneself. Many members of Generations X and Y don't have confidence in their writing ability because they know they weren't forced to develop and keep improving it. It just isn't there. Given that formal writing is required, despite the conversational prose of social networks, fear verging on panic has taken hold when a writing assignment is due.
That's the reason why we ghostwriters haven't been put out of business by DYI. And the business has become global. Increasingly I edit articles for U.S. journals developed by Chinese experts. In Canada, those whose English is a second language also come to me for coaching about organization, tone, and word choice. Clearly, not only U.S. education has neglected putting adequate emphasis on writing fundamentals.
About 18 months ago, an executive coach rcommended I stop investing so much marketing in social media, which is glutted, and return to my core competence of ghostwriting. She was right on the money.