Continuous development - ghost writing

With a Masters of Science degree and over twenty years of experience delivering high-profile projects (smart metering, offshore electricity, regulator strategy, energy bill, contracts for difference, etc) and tendering for major projects (acute hospitals, High Speed 2, Crossrail, water and sewage, Network Rail, land redevelopment, etc), some has been surprised that I am currently not working full time in a ‘proper job’.

Bringing structure to chaos 

Those who know me well, know that I enjoy and thrive when I am thrown in at the deep end, when I need to bring structure to chaos, and when I can learn something new and develop as a person. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to select my roles, and to leave them when they haven’t turned out as agreed or when line managers / teams have unexpectedly changed.

Selling my soul… 

Whilst looking for my next ‘proper job’, I am freelancing in a variety of roles including technical bid writing; another one being as a ghost writer, focusing on search engine optimisation (SEO). Yes, you read that correctly! In the view of many, I am selling my soul to write for others without getting any recognition for my work. However, it really suits me at the moment and my way to look at it, it means I get paid to learn new things.

Embracing the unknown

I receive an email stating the website I need to write an article for and specifications on expected word count, image requirements, target website of my pay master and key words to use, as well as number of internal links and external links I must include.

My first action is to visit the website I am due to write the article for. I surf around the site for a while, check what topics they cover, the type of articles already published and the tone / language being used. Following this, I figure out the topic I’d like to write about and how I can link that seamlessly back to my pay master’s website. I then draft my proposal and send it off to my contact person, who hopefully approve it (or suggest some amendments). Once the proposal is agreed (including target url and exact anchor words), I write up the article and send it off. Sometimes the approval email comes within the hour, other times it takes a day or two. It is usually rather straight forward and I can add the job to the monthly invoice.

Learning new skills

So far, I have had the opportunity to learn more about e.g. ground breaking art exhibitions, the concept of factfulness, solo travelling in Asia, latest Game of Thrones gossip, algo and swing trading, socialite life in the United States, tourism in Great Britain, Indian travellers and their preferences, mobile apps for health, the new 100-year life span, skills based volunteering and sporting events including the football world cup, tennis at Wimbledon, the US Open, the Grand National, golf and ice hockey.

Also, doing all of this mainly in English, which is my second language, further adds to the challenge and sense of achievement.

Returning to a ‘proper job’?

At some point in the future, I am hoping to yet again find a challenging ‘proper job’ building on my degree and previous experiences, but until this happens, I am happy calling myself a ghost writer (amongst other things). There is still so many new topics to dive into and to learn more about; it also fits really well around attending MOOCs and being involved in volunteering work.