The good and the bad of ghostwriting

Obama

The concept of letting someone else take credit for your work is strange to wrap your head around. It takes a certain type of person to put aside their pride and allow others to reap the rewards of their hard work, but I certainly understand how someone could do it. I know I could.

It depends on what you value in life. If think of ghostwriting as a transaction, where one person gets a piece of work and the credit, and the other gets money. Seems like a pretty fair deal to me.

The argument that is unfair or unjust doesn’t make sense to me, because the person is perfectly aware of what they are getting themselves into when they agree to this deal. And for some, I’m sure they don’t even want the credit. Not everyone wants to be famous or well known, so if they can get compensated adequately and stay behind the scenes, great for them.

I think a great example of this is speechwriting. I’m sure whoever writes speeches for political figures of high ranking officials in organizations are very aware of the circumstances. Your job title is “speech-writer”. It seems like one of those unspoken agreements. How weird would it sound if at the end of Obama’s speeches he said “this speech was written by Eric Dowdall”. It would just take away from the impact of the speech.

The only time I think speech writing is unfair or not appropriate is when consent is not given. That seems like a simple concept to grasp, and I am sure this does not occur very often. Legal action likely would settle any issues in this regard, so it’s not really a concern.

When it comes down to it, I have no issues with ghostwriting at all. As long as it is a perfectly consensual contract, with consideration going to each party (aka money one-way, a piece of work the other way), no problems on my end.

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