Executive Order

Last Friday, I was President Trump and my Love Story book was Obamacare. In other words, I signed an executive order for myself to call it quits with this book “project”. For good.

I had a revelation. Well, it’s been years now and she’s probably reincarnated so when I say revelation, it was probably just me dreaming shit up thanks to my crazy imaginations. Still…

I don’t think I would have been able to do it anyway. I have the easy stuff nailed down, but they’re more or less what you can read in the blog already. The difficult stuff were, well… extremely difficult. On good days, I could write 10 words per week. At the rate I’m going, I would probably not have been able to complete it before I go on my deathbed. That would be pointless…

Anyway, said “revelation” told me to stop the bullshit, to stop torturing myself over something that cannot be reversed. In fact, it was the “revelation” that gave me the idea that she’s reincarnated and that I would do well to stop being persistently stupid less I follow in her footsteps…

I wasn’t going to write anything about this, but I figured there might be 10 people or so who might still be actively waiting for the book, so I felt responsible to at least let you guys know that, nope, the book’s not coming. Not anymore. Sorry for wasting your time waiting…

I’ve deleted all the drafts I have for this book “project”, purged everything from my hard drives. Not gonna be making a comeback…

Maybe I’ll leave you with a tiny little snapshot of what I had…

Yeah, no… that last sentence… well…

I wrote the story. Part of it is in the blog. Part of it, well… will never get published…

Anyway, I’m not looking for sympathetic comments. If any of you wanna say things like “I feel you” or “I know what you going through, bro” or play shrink, no thanks. This is purely an update on my decision. I’m fine.

On another note, while I’m not going to publish this Love Story book, I did complete another book. Took me 6 months of sporadic work, mostly weekends.

It won’t be published under my name. In fact, I don’t know if it will ever be published as a book or not. I ghostwrote the book. For the sake of client confidentiality, I won’t even say what genre that book is. Let’s just say there are lots of “fiction presented as facts” going on in that book. Heh… πŸ˜›

Still, I got paid USD 1.5k for it. It was my biggest freelance engagement so far. There’s probably quite a number ofΒ Malaysian publishing authors who don’t make this type of royalty money out of one book. So I guess it was all good. πŸ™„ πŸ˜€


  1. You have just shared a very interesting post. I myself didn’t know there are such jobs as ghostwriters out there and looked at the link you shared. I am not a trained copywriter at all but somehow got landed with creative writing when I was the GM of a HKG advertising agency. Since then, I started to freelance for some agencies which paid peanuts compared to yours.

    If I could get a sum like yours monthly, that would be good to quit my job and stay at home to be ghost writers.

    • Don’t play lah, USD 1.5k per month, not enough for you lah. Not even enough to cover for your air fare to Japan hahahaha…

  2. It’s exactly the reason why I won’t ever go down the path of throwing away a stable job to freelance for a living: both ways, you get money. But with a normal job, there is less chase for money which gives more time for emotional fulfillment, and I’m speaking from experience πŸ™„

    For me, money was and is never a motivator for doing most things (this was also how I thought when I was left with $100 for a whole month with no foreseeable paycheck that month). You can have all the money in the world, but how does that define you in terms of how you feel, and how you make others feel πŸ™„

    • Money makes me happy. That’s how it defines how I feel. Nothing more needs to be said about it. πŸ˜›

  3. Congrats on being a ghostwriter! πŸ™‚ I heard that it’s the same amount of work as an actual author?

    Geez, I was hoping to read ‘Love Story’, but I guess you must’ve your own reasons to arrive at the decision to pull the plug on it.

    • It is, you basically author the damn book. The only difference is you get paid a fixed sum instead of royalty, and you don’t get your name plastered on the book cover. That’s all.

      You can read the Love Story in the blog. Just not the deeper and darker follow up version. πŸ™„

      • Roger that, CL. I’ll definitely have a peek at the chapters you’ve published on the blog. I need something to take my mind off law in those moments of stress. I think I’d rather have a fixed sum than the royalty (because royalty goes either way and there’s no way of knowing whether it will be a best seller until it’s been marketed by the publisher).

        • I’m sure if you visit Popular or MPH in Malaysia, you will find a lot of books (fiction or non-fiction) by local authors on the shelves, which you have not heard of, nor would think of buying. I feel for them sometimes (feel only, but still not gonna buy them). Without any marketing efforts from the publishers, they won’t get anywhere I reckon. πŸ™„

  4. Writing a book is hard work. I don’t have that kind of attention span. I’m much better at one-liner etc.

    Congrats on being a ghost writer.

    • I’ve ghost written articles for years now. Book level, a first. I’ll write a book and slap it with my own name next. Just not this book. πŸ™„

  5. Oh no… I was really looking forward to reading it :(. But I understand that writing is personal and you need to do what feels right. I wish I could write a book, but I don’t even know where to start, ha. Congrats on ghostwriting a book though.. that’s a decent sum of money :). I’m curious what genre it is.

    • I won’t tell, you probably would not recognize it even if that book actually got published. πŸ˜›

    • It is the right decision for me. Whether it is for others, well… fuck it, none of my business eh? πŸ˜›

  6. congrats on ur USD1.5k earning.
    i din know there is such ghostwriter jobs out there….how do u get one?
    m so desperate of earning USD now since MYR is so valueless πŸ˜‰

  7. This ghostwriter thingy reminds me of that very good movie (of the same name) I saw starring Ewan McGregor! πŸ˜‰ I don’t think I would ghostwrite a book (not that I was ever offered to write one…hehe) for so little money coz I think the reward does not equate to the amount of effort put in to write an entire book. I believe royalty money is based on the quantity of books sold, so if your book happens to be a best seller, then the royalty will surely be a lot.

    • I have not seen that movie. I cannot imagine Obi Wan Kenobi being a write at all! >.< Writing is like being an actor or singer. The reward will never be equal to effort in the beginning. People fight for the possibility that they might end up being famous, being a bestseller, and then only they can roll around in a pool of money, laughing... πŸ˜€

  8. I didn’t know there is such a thing as a ghostwriter

    I won’t say that is good money or easy money as I know there is a lot of effort and hard work put inside

    • Never easy money. It gets a lot easier when you are famous, but still, the journey to being famous is not easy at all. πŸ™„

  9. Wow ok ok. At least u got USD1.5K being a ghost. Congratulations. Let’s hope next time you’ll get a book published under your name. That time I’ll go to Penang exclusively to get it signed by you πŸ™‚

  10. Thank you for being so responsible to update us who are waiting for your book that you have purged it (writing the book) forever from your life. Guess I have to just fill in myself with all the possible ways that she died (though it won’t matter to you or her), just myself being curious. Congrats on earning USD1.5k on ghostwriting a book. I guess you can call yourself a writer now that you can earn so much writing a book. Well done!

    • I don’t think it is “so much”. If we consider based on effort, it was “so little”. But when compared to a good many publishing authors in Malaysia… Well let’s do some back of the napkin math. If you go to Popular/MPH, you sometimes see local authors’ books, right? Well, if you are Boey or Mahathir then all is well and fine, but the thing is, a good many of them are not famous. They might have books selling for RM15-20 sitting on the shelves, and it will sell probably a couple thousand copies at best, nationwide. Considering 5% royalty, they’ll get probably… maybe less than RM 5k. That’s the reality for not-famous publishing Malaysian authors.

      Now you take USD 1.5k and multiply by the wonderful exchange rate. Well… good deal, eh? πŸ™„

      • yes i do think it is a good deal. some local not famous authors self published their books and cannot even break even. for them it is more for self satisfaction to see their books in bookstores, no so much to earn money since they lose money when they self published.

        • I don’t think there will be many self-satisfaction self publishers to be honest. I guess most of them are publishing in the hopes that they might become famous and hit a bestseller. Once you become bestseller then theoretically you “break your leg also no worries” after all. πŸ™„

  11. Where is the fun if you get paid that much money and not have your name put out there? Then again, that book sounds like a lie and if I was in that position and did the writing and took the money, I’d probably hope the book doesn’t even see the light of day.

    I really enjoyed your Love Story and it has a lot of potential to be a great book, even if it is dark. The darkest stories are the most revealing and connecting. But of course, it is your call. If you ever need a hand, I am very happy to pitch in. After all, no one, NO ONE ever ever ever writes a book and publishes it alone πŸ™„

    “On good days, I could write 10 words per week.” That is me. Trust me. That is me.

    • I don’t care what happens to the book. As far as I am concerned, I got the money, it’s over. Nothing with regards to the book is related to me anymore. That’s how you have to be when you freelance. You do it for the money and not the emotional fulfillment. πŸ™„

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