Ghostwriters in demand know one thing: Their definition of "success" and that of their clients might be worlds apart. And the client's definition is all that matters. However, the trick is to figure out what that definition is.
The book "Succeed On Your Own Terms" shows that there are an infinite number of ways to understand success. For some it could be as concrete and measurable a getting to the peak of the mountain. For others it could be following a talent.
For one of my former clients it was about "showing them" that he could dominate the conversation in the media. Therefore, job number-one was to have tons of his opinion-editorials and articles published in brandname publications such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. That got accomplished. Of course, chasing that kind of goal never brings satisfaction. He might have "shown them" but whatever wounds they had supposedly inflicted on him never healed.
As ghostwriters we don't play amateur shrinks. To give our all to a mission we might not believe in we have to have a come to jesus meeting with ourselves. We have to put our head around what success means to us.
That can change. For years for me it was sort of a version of Let's Praise Famous Men. I wanted to be the ghostwriter for the big guns, both male and female. Now success means having access to stimulating assignments which pay well enough. The woman campaigning to be local dog catcher could be the source of some of them.
Since he was a Millennial I thought I had really made it. Famous and young. I felt hot.
Post that trauma, if the experience is heady it's probably not for me.