Seasoned ghostwriters know a secret: Writing is the easy part.
It’s everything else—from researching to revising—which consumes most of our time.
The one thing that would dramatically reduce our labor is the one thing we’re often reluctant to do. Lest we be perceived as overly inquisitive or insufficiently independent, we hesitate to ask a critical question upfront: “How many people will need to approve this text?”
These nine simple words matter, because the more people you have to please, the more your writing will become a game of Whac-a-Mole.
Some common problems you might face include:
Without knowing the universe of approvers, you won’t be able to distinguish between notes that are merely advisory and notes that are gospel.
Let’s say your client tells you he wants his COO, CFO, and CMO to weigh in. Your next question should be, “If I get conflicting guidance, would you like me to make an executive decision? If not, who should I ask to arbitrate?”
Here, your question serves a different purpose: It shows that you’ve thought deeply about your work as a collaborative process. Just by raising the issue, you’re educating your client about details he likely hasn’t considered. That’s why we consultants are hired: To make clients smarter.