Yes, I admit there is a little pretentiousness in my voice when I say that. But it's not because I'm making sure YOU know what I'm saying, or to feed my ego.
I say that I'm certified because I've gone through a year-long, and at times grueling, certification course to earn that title. And when I say "earn," I mean that I didn't just show up to class for participation.
I had assignments that I had to do, and sometimes twice. At times I was sure that I wouldn't be allowed to continue on. Other times I was worried that I'd offended one of the authors we were working with. Luckily I hadn't, I just came off sounding awkward.
60% of the students that I started the course with didn't complete it.
I don't say that as a badge of honor, but more like the guy who just missed getting plowed over by a crazy driver.
I was never a good student. I can honestly say that I was average-- my report cards back this up. At times I was slightly below average too, and again, I have report cards that back this up.
I worked as a content writer and decided I'd try ghostwriting. So I started calling myself a "ghostwriter." When that happened, I found it was much more challenging to write in someone else's voice than my own. Not to mention how to handle clients.
By taking this course, I was seeking to understand the best way to approach the profession. I had confidence in my skills, only to see that rattled when I completed my first ghostwriting assignment.
Luckily, the notes my instructor left for me didn't deter me. Instead, I spent more time on the assignment and turned it in again.
My instruction, pleased that I was taking the course seriously, replied that it was decent.
The notes I received on the next few assignments were much more positive.
Keep in mind that while this was happening students were dropping out left and right. I feared I was on the bubble. That the next "bad" assignment I turned in would be my last.
That didn't happen though.
Instead, I completed the course.
I worked with real authors and received positive feedback from them and the course instructors. And these course instructors were not merely filling a role. They were and still are ghostwriting veterans. Each one with multiple books worth of experience.
And they were telling me that I was good at this. I'd never met these people before, and all they had to go on was my writing.
So yes, I do have a pride in my voice when I say "I'm a Certified Ghostwriter." Because I've been trained in this, I've worked with clients as a certified ghost.
Anyone can call themselves a ghostwriter, which I did for some time. Yet, you can't be sure that any ghostwriter will do a good job just because they call themselves one.
With this certification, I also learned about the publishing industry, what needs to happen for a manuscript to go from "okay" to "polished," and the self-publishing industry as well.
This is why it's essential, at least to me, to make the distinction that I'm a Certified Ghostwriter and not just a ghostwriter.
Now I'll get off my soapbox.
Here's the original Chirp where I give a quick explanation.
Now get to writing!