Monday, August 21, 2023

The MuseInks Interview with Ghostwriter Madison Fitzpatrick

I'm excited to introduce you all to Madison Fitzpatrick, a ghostwriter with one goal: crafting clear messages about complex stuff. 
Madison loves wading into other people’s brains and sorting their tangled thoughts into flowing prose. Logic and structure are her jam (chalk it up to her engineering background), and so is the fine art of channeling other people’s voices (maybe thanks to her music-trained ear). 
In this brave new world of “effortless” AI-generated content, she knows genuine human connection is the only thing that will transcend the noise, and building it takes originality and authenticity. Her mission is to help leaders, experts, coaches, innovators, and business owners find the words that make their audiences fall in love.
I'm grateful to Madison for taking the time to answer my questions about ghostwriting and about her views on publishing. 

Ami: How long have you worked in the publishing industry? What are some of the positions you’ve held?

Madison: I’ve been ghostwriting since 2019. At the time, I had been a freelance writer for a couple of years, doing mostly short-form content and copywriting. I had been helping my husband blog about his teaching experiences, and after a few months, we realized we had enough material to create a book. That book was my first ghostwriting project, and I enjoyed the process so much that I decided to look for more opportunities to do it.
There's so much satisfaction in helping someone untangle their ideas and organize them into a cohesive narrative that other people can latch onto, which is exactly what I specialize in now.

Ami: What is your writing superpower? How did you discover it?

Madison: I help people craft clear messages about complex stuff. I love to tackle a complicated, abstract idea and lay it out in concrete terms anyone can understand. 
Part of this comes from my background in engineering, where logic, structure, and clarity are so important. I also did quite a bit of teaching in grad school, and I found that I had a knack for breaking down difficult concepts and explaining them in ways my students could grasp. My time as a management consultant strengthened those skills as well, both on the analytical side and the communication side. 
Funnily enough, I have no formal training in writing, beyond my high school AP Literature class. That hasn't stopped me yet!

Ami: Tell me about some of your recent career successes.

Madison: By the end of this year, I'll have 10 published books under my belt, most of which were written in the last 2 years. 
What I've found particularly surprising and rewarding is that several of those authors are repeat clients. They have a lot to say, and once we've established trust and rapport on one book, they can't wait to work together on the next one. It makes sense--I get deeply embedded in how they think and speak, so the more we work together, the more effortless it becomes for both of us. That kind of thought partnership is what I love most about this work.

Ami: Do you have a particular genre or niche that you most enjoy working in?

In truth, my enjoyment comes more from the author relationship than from the content. I've always been a curious person, so I'm game to dive into any topic, and I can promise I'll have fun with it as long as the author is excited to share their message.

In practice, I do a lot of writing on business-related topics, but I've also written about psychology, leadership, education, personal growth, and more. Then there are my personal interests, which include music, art, nature, science, travel... There's a very wide range of things I would enjoy writing about.

Ami: What are some of your favorite projects that you’ve worked on? What made them so special?

Madison: One of my favorite projects was a book for entrepreneurs about how to manage the "people side" of their organizations as they scale up. The author was an executive coach who came to me with only a vague idea of what the book would be about, and we developed the manuscript over the course of a year. We started out by writing a weekly blog to get all the important ideas out on the table, then we pulled that material together into a more comprehensive book.

The best part was that the author was looking for a true thought partner and was highly receptive to my questions and suggestions throughout the process. The raw material was his, but he allowed me to play a significant role in shaping it, which I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated.

Ami: In a perfect world, what will your writing career look like by this time in 2025?

Madison: Of course, I fully intend to continue working one-on-one with authors to ghostwrite complete manuscripts. However, I also have plans to explore some one-to-many services, like group book coaching and online courses--anything that helps more people put their ideas out into the world in an impactful way.

Ami: What advice would you give to someone who is considering hiring a book coach or ghost?

Don't worry too much about whether they've written "bestsellers" or traditionally published books. What matters most is whether they make you feel understood, both in conversation and in their writing. If you can tell that they get you and your message, you have a winner. That rapport makes it so much easier for you to express yourself, and it will make you more receptive when they ask questions and make suggestions.

At least twice, I've taken over projects from much more experienced ghostwriters because the authors simply didn't click with them, and I learned from those experiences that a good relationship means everything on these long-term, demanding, emotional projects.

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