As soon as I see “understand my voice,” I tap out. These clients are irritating to work with. They’ll spend more time lecturing you about how “I wouldn’t say that” or “this doesn’t sound like me,” but you have absolutely nothing to work with — because they’ve always hired someone else to write their content. It’s kind of like asking someone out on a first date and telling him “You don’t act like the boyfriend I need” while that person have never met your exes. I have tried it multiple times and realized I only like to talk in my voice — unless it’s straight reporting and cannot be debated.

The last project I tested this out on was someone who hired me to put up social media posts but would say things like “I don’t say ‘sista,’ I say ‘goddess.’” Even when I tried telling him I’d be creeped out by a man calling me “goddess,” he still insisted, “that’s what women want to hear.” I was done. Once you want me to talk in your voice and you’re telling other people what they want to hear, I’m done. Sometime last year, I put on my Upwork profile that I do not ghostwrite at all. I’ll heavily edit copy to get it to sound like that person’s voice, but I haven’t ghostwritten anything in about a year.

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Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

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