Not all people believe in ghosts, but most people would be afraid if they met one. And if meeting a ghost sounds a bit scary, what about riding one? That's right, have you ever heard about those people who ride ghosts? Even for the most spiritual and daring among us, that sounds pretty bizarre.
The other day my wife was talking to a friend of hers here in Delhi. My wife is Canadian and her friend is Indian. They were speaking to each other in English but, as is common in cross-cultural exchanges, speaking the same language doesn't ensure understanding.
This friend knows about my role with the export business in India but my wife began to share with her a bit about my experience with writing. When my wife used a certain writing term to explain that a friend of mine had once hired me to write his book, the look on this lady's face turned strange. She looked confused and concerned. She tried to put the pieces together in her mind, but she couldn't figure it out. After a while, she got up the courage to ask my wife the question, "So, where exactly does Mark do this ghost-riding?"
My wife hesitated, but then couldn't hold back her laughter. "No, no, no," she said. "Writing. Ghostwriting."
"Oh, I see," the lady replied in relief. Though in her mind, I'm sure she had already been thinking, What kind of weird stuff is Mark really into?
Ghostwriting is very common in the business of writing, probably more common than many people realize. Some writers do it full-time and make a decent living from it. As far as I know, ghost-riding is much less common and there's absolutely no money in it.