Yesterday I tallied up all the articles I wrote for others in 2009 and it came to 570. At an average of 400 words each, that comes to 228,000 words. A minimum of 60,000 words is needed for a novel, so I’ve written the equivalent of three good-sized novels this year—a trilogy!
Of course if it were that easy to write a novel, I’d paste them all together and publish. But it would seriously lack plot and characters, and other rather important aspects of a novel.
Just over 100 of these articles (112 to be exact) were written for Garments Without Guilt, a project that I was allowed to attach my name to and even won an award for my part in the campaign! You can view those articles (and the ones I did in 2008), by following these links, which are also listed to the left of this article: The Garments Without Guilt blog for all and The Garments Without Guilt business blog.
458 of my total articles were ghostwritten on a variety of subjects. Since I don’t own them and wrote them while incognito (are you picturing me in sunglasses, ducking slightly, while seated at my computer?) I can’t just give you the links. That’d blow my cover.
But I can tell you how I was able to add my own twist while also meeting the clients’ needs. I hope this means added value for them, because it certainly was more enriching for me this way.
On Cremation – I focused on how different cultures view cremation and death, as well as people’s need to keep loved ones close. I wrote about Sri Lanka, Tibet and China, creative Americans and even did one on comforting poetry.
On Addiction Recovery – this client promotes healing on all levels--mind, body and spirit--which is right up my alley, so I mostly write about the spiritual and psychological aspects. I go into detail about the 12 steps, prayers, positive thinking and finding support. Some of my favorites have been based on recovery as a Hero's Journey, the 12 Steps from a Buddhist perspective, and Dr. Candace Pert's concept of feeling "Go(o)d".
On Costumes and related Subcultures – I LOVE Halloween, so there’s that, but this one focuses largely on the year-round conventions that people dress up to attend. They include Anime and Japanese Culture, Video Games, Sci-Fi and Fantasy conventions, Live Action Role Playing and historical reconstructions. I like it because I get a window into a whole world I was previously unaware of! And I know where I’d fit in if I wanted to play along—Steampunks—they’re like Victorian Sci-Fi. So far I’m still just a voyeur into their world.
On Divorce – This client’s focus was on collaborative divorce that gave the needs of the children involved top priority. So it was like psychological, spiritual and emotional counseling and advice-giving. Anyone who knows me knows I’m into that.
On Heart health –I’m not a doctor, but I play one online. *LOVE* that I write it but they paste a doctor’s photo and bio at the end as if it’s written by a medical professional. I keep my focus on natural things that normal people can do—reduce stress, exercise, eat healthy and take natural vitamins and supplements. I also try to educate myself and the readers about the basic operation and function of the heart and its related problems. Science and big Latin words! Oooh! (I enjoy the taxonomy aspect of the orchids too—it’s all words and naming. Yum!)
On Internet technology – My focus is culture and how the internet is shaping it. I do a lot about social networking, new gadgets and software, promoting nationwide broadband to bridge the digital divide and quite often, my own life experience provides me with great material.
On Restaurant trends – Luckily the trends often coincided with my personal interest in organic, local and sustainable food, but I also wrote about international influences.
On Sensory research – This focused on food, so it was largely taste tests, but also the psychology of sense perception. Most of us don’t really think about why we do or don’t like something, but we are affected by color, lighting, use of space, sound, scent, texture and a host of other subtle cues. So it was applied to everything from how a restaurant is decorated to how food packaging attracts customers in the supermarket aisle. I even got to use some pop culture references like The Pepsi Challenge and why encouraging people to squeeze the Charmin would have been better for Charmin's sales.
Let me know if you'd like to know more on any of these subjects and I can point you in the right direction!