Why Are Ghost Writers More Important Than Ever
Remember all those predictions about how the internet would decimate the writing profession (journalists, novelists, etc.)? That turned out to be true for some, but not for all. The fact is that there are more writers today than ever. I wonder if the seers ever stopped to consider how the Web or the Internet could possibly function without the written word. Somebody has to write what we need to read just to get through a normal day (in cyberspace).A text here, a text there, everywhere a text.Ghost Writers
Reminds me of an old tune from the early 70s (“A sign here, a sign there, everywhere a sign”).The next written text you read may be nothing more than snappy spiel about some company’s unique wares or services. It may be as pithy as a slogan, title or a news headline. And no doubt it contains an important visual aspect flickering within sight. Visual effects are all-important to modern communication.But can you imagine googling off to a website or blog, navigating it, purchasing a product or service, or doing anything at all with only icons to go by? I mean no guiding text or instructions. Icons aren’t standardized to a point of universal recognition.Ghost Writers
It’s just humanBlind people have the advantage of using special software to listen rather than having to read, say, a product description. However, the content they listen to also has to be created by copywriters, ghosts and editors. Unless of course it is “computer-generated.”When I was very young, it pained me to imagine any human having to endure the task of writing a whole book (re: the kind adults read, with no pictures in it). Writing on such an “awesome” scale seemed purgatorial.Ghost Writers
So, I took comfort in the thought that the longest books, at least, might mercifully have been written by “machines.” How else?The people who invented language-generating software, as we now call this technology, must have had equally “troubled” childhoods. The difference is that the fruits of their labor are observable everywhere today.Ghost Writers
Mind you, language software still manages to produce grammatically sound but nauseatingly generic, disembodied and rickety writing. This “genre,” if I may dignify it with a label, will always be the Muzak of the writing field.Which brings us back to “writers,” that subspecies of the human race that can do so much more than machines, because we writers happen to be both human and beings capable of writing.
Try to imagine the Internet or Web without our profession. That bookshelf you just purchased with no instruction manual? No, wait–that’s too easy (if the instructions can be understood in Chinesenglish, they would in computenglish as well.)Ghost Writers
Look, all you have to do is imagine everything written out there. Billions of web pages, blogs, e-mail correspondence, not to mention the SPAM?There are definitely more “writers” than before, though still not enough to do all the writing necessary to meet the present demand. And the best among them, already more numerous than at any time in history, are making a good living at it, to boot