I have a strange friend. He loves to write, but he doesn’t really have much talent for it. However, he’s incredibly creative and can come up with some amazing ideas. He just needs someone to help him put them on paper!
What kind of friend are we talking about? Let’s say you have a blog, and you know how crucial good content is to engaging with, and hopefully converting, your audience. Your friend is your audience. He’s the one reading your blog, commenting on it, and sometimes even contributing content. You’d like to put your signature on his writing, and make it look unique to you.
So how do you do that? You could turn to a vanity press and have someone write up an article on your behalf. Alternatively, you could get creative and find the person in your own personal network that best represents your voice and style, and get them to ghost write for you. Finally, you could hire a freelance writer to knuckle down and churn out some content for you. Which one of these options sounds the best to you?
Vanity presses are, essentially, bloggers’ best friend. They give you a platform to express yourself, and someone else is willing to give your work a face palm on a piece of paper.
Vanity presses should not be confused with vanity websites. A vanity press will only ever publish articles written by an outside entity, typically a freelancer. The work will never be acknowledged or credited to the author. This is a huge step down from being a ghost writer, where some of your work is acknowledged and you’re given some sort of credit for it.
If you’re looking for freelance writing jobs and you have a few creative writing samples you could send off, you could do a lot worse than try pitching your work to magazines and publications. Magazines can be notoriously difficult to get into, so you’ll need to do a lot of work to get these first few assignments. However, once you’re in, the work will come in steady. Just make sure you build a good portfolio and you’ll be on your way to earning a nice living.
Ghost writing is, essentially, when a third party (typically a freelance writer) is hired to author content for you, either on your behalf or on behalf of someone else. This content will then be attributed to the original author, so the name on the piece doesn’t have to be the same as the author’s. This has the distinct feature of allowing you to be more creative with your content. If a writer you’ve engaged knows your voice well enough, they might even give you a hand with the language and structure so that you don’t sound completely alien to your audience.
What Is ‘Flair’?
‘Flair’ is essentially the individual author’s style, quirks, and uniqueness, all wrapped up in an article or book. While a writer’s ‘voice’ is often heavily dependent on their choice of words, their writing style, and their general approach to storytelling, their ‘flair’ is a unique personal signature that helps make their content stand out. When a reader encounters a piece of content written by Ben Franklin, they know it’s not going to be written by anyone else. Even if the language is the same, the way he organizes his ideas, the unique illustrations he uses, and the way he plays with the English language are all going to give it his personal flair. Take a look at how different people’s signatures change the ‘feel’ of their content.
When a reader encounters a piece of content written by Dr. Seuss, there is nothing about the language that isn’t consistent with what they’re used to, but the way he arranges his ideas, his use of language, and some of the characters he creates are going to give it a distinct Seuss-ness about it. It’s the same with most creative writing samples. The only way you can truly appreciate the difference between the different pieces of content is by getting to know the authors individually. If this is difficult, take a look at how different the titles of the works are: There’s ‘The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins’, ‘Hop on Pop’, and ‘Oh, the Places You’ll Go!’. In the same way that the language, style, and approach to storytelling are consistent with what you’d expect from Dr. Seuss, the contents of the three books are incredibly distinct. Because they are such famous, creative, and prolific authors, readers know exactly what they are getting into when they pick up one of their books. While the language might be the same, the way the authors play with the English language, and the unique quirks that make them tick are all going to make them stand out.
I hope this was helpful. Creative writing can be a fun and rewarding process, but it takes a bit of elbow grease to get there. If you’re looking for ways to ‘put your flair’ on creative writing, there are plenty of options available to you. Just make sure you don’t get scammed, and make sure you do your research before committing. You can find a vanity press, get some freelance writing experience under your belt, or simply find a good friend who is a creative genius, and get them to write something for you! Good luck out there.