Listening is a Gift
“I like to listen. I learn a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway
I literally just had this conversation twice. A friend who casually observed me with a potential client noted, “You listened to every word. You were so focused on them.”
The week prior a newer friend said surprised, “You actually listen to me.”
What is funny to me is that IF I AM LISTENING, trust me that I am hearing every word. I am also somewhat intuitive so I’m hearing some words you are not saying. I can parrot back to you in your own style what you conveyed to me, more clearly and concisely than you communicating for yourself.
Part of this is from a career in advertising, marketing and journalism writing copy for print and broadcast. I have had to listen well to write and create media as the voice of businesses to sell their products, services and brand points.
Also, as a ghostwriter, I listen to every word, pause, inflection and feeling. It’s different to hear someone’s story than to read it. I am trained to make the stories come alive in print in a book long after a client has passed as though they are still talking. I keep their legacy alive.
Over Christmas 2022, I edited a client’s book, well over 100,000 words. I had ghostwritten some of it to get the flow and outline started and some content was added by the client. After a week of very detailed reading of the manuscript, I wrote a summary which we could use as a review. They loved it. Even with numerous varied unrelated topics of a very interesting and successful person, I summarized the book content in a few succinct intriguing sentences.
Writing is a gift for which I am grateful. Chart is fun for me to promote local charities and creative people. Writing for advertising and ghostwriting clients is what I do for a living.
ARE YOU LISTENING?
I listen. Sometimes my potential clients don’t listen.
On Jan. 9, 2016, seven years ago, Bob Langford posted on my timeline “Let’s write a book.” My old neighbor Bob Langford passed unexpectedly in 2021 so we didn’t write what would have been an amazing memoir. We met several times at Park Plaza over the years to write his life story. Bob was an animated storyteller of Winter Park, Florida history as owner of the historic Langford Hotel (which is now the Alfond Inn) and a colorful character of Old Orlando where his dad had been mayor. Bob was engaging and funny. He was also thrifty. He didn’t want to pay my ghostwriting fees (which actually are reasonable) so we never put his complete legacy in his own words in print.
It’s a new year and I’m meeting with ghostwriting clients who sometimes want to delay the process. Life is full of surprises. If you feel an inner inkling to write your life story, that is the best time to get started. A ghostwriter will do most of the work so it’s easy and fun for the client.
Are you or someone you know ready to write a book? Call and let’s get started. I’m listening. Casey Tennyson, Author & Ghostwriter on FB