A Real Ghostwriter

As many of you know, I’ve been working on a memoir about my life and my sister, Melissa’s life for a while now. In fact, I’m coming up on the 1-year anniversary of my computer crash and losing a huge chunk of that manuscript. An error which cost me a few months of time spent re-writing what I’d been too remiss to save. I was determined last fall though to complete an initial manuscript and move on to the next phase, whatever that was.

It turns out that for me, the next phase is working with a plot coach!

I’ve teamed up with a woman who works in Los Angeles -mostly on scripts- and she’s helping me take what I’ve done so far and restructure it so that (ideally) it reads like a page turner! Sounds promising, right?

The night before my first plot coaching call, I coincidentally had an astrological consult.

In my reading, of course we discussed this book- about Melissa and me. And the astrologer said, “you know how sometimes authors use ghostwriters to help them with their stories?”

“Yes,” I replied, knowing what a ghostwriter is -someone who helps the author convey their story if they neither possess the time nor proclivity to do the actual writing.

“Well,” he continued, “in your case it’s like you have an actual ghost writer.”

Yes, I thought, I do!

And that reminded me of how I started this project in the first place. It was July, 2012. I was in New Hampshire. Govinda, my husband, was in class from 7:30 am until 6:00 pm every weekday for 3 weeks. I was all alone – no children, no chores, no shoulds no have-tos.

The little voice in my head said, “great, now you have time to write.”

I did an excellent job of ignoring that voice for a week opting instead to mostly lose myself in other people’s writing, easily polishing off two novels. But then when week 2 rolled around the voice got a whole lot louder.

“Fine! I’ll start writing” I retorted by Tuesday of week 2. I pulled out a pad and a pen and started writing. Then the thoughts came. “What should I write about?”

I tried to go along one vein, then another. Everything sounded trite, boring or mundane. I quickly began dissolving into insecurity and fear. Soon I was lying on the ground, curled up crying. My mind chatter pummeling me with dejecting words.

And then Melissa spoke to me.

“Tell our story.”

“Really?” I replied. “Are you sure you want me to do that? It might not be so nice.”

“Tell our story.”


I sat up and grabbed the pad that had fallen along side me. Instantly an entire outline came to me along with a name, Irish Twins. In five minutes it was all written down.

Suddenly I was on my way.

Two years later, she still whispers in my ear and my hope is she will continue to do so until the project is done. Because, as my astrologer, Dale said, I do have a real ghostwriter.

Have you ever wanted to do a project and got stuck?

Did you get help?

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