As a practical wordsmith, I create value by writing whatever my clients need to have written, under a wide range of circumstances. I have written books, articles, and columns on law, technology, financial services, psychology, and spirituality. I have done this as a grant writer, a lawyer, a magazine editor, a magazine contributor, a website entrepreneur, a government contractor (for NASA), and as a freelance writer and editor.
As a ghostwriter, I write a wide range of materials for others, but receive little or no external credit for the writing. Put differently, I write books, chapters, articles, etc., and then my clients get to take full credit for what I've written. Sometimes I get acknowledged somewhere in the prefatory matter, and other times any mention of my contribution is simply omitted. (My favorite is: "We would like to acknowledge Jordan Gruber, without whose contribution this book could not have been written.")
Is this unfair? Not at all! First, the client usually comes up with at least some (and sometimes nearly all) of the ideas, resources, and research necessary for the writing, even if I do the actual writing per se. Second, this is a business arrangement, a simple fair trade. My clients get the credit for the writing, I get paid, and everyone goes home happy.
It's actually kind of cool being a ghostwriter. I very much like learning about new things, I get to practice non-attachment in a professional capacity, and I like being responsible for producing the kind of tangible results that keep my clients happy.