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ghost writer

A writer (usually a professional) who assists in the writing of something (such as a book or speech) without taking credit for it. A: "I'm so impressed with the celebrity memoir I'm reading. I didn't expect this singer to be able to write so well!" B: "Yeah, she probably had a ghost writer!" Being the ghostwriter of some of the president's speeches is the greatest achievement of my life.
See also: ghost, writer

writer's block

the temporary inability for a writer to think of what to write. I have writer's block at the moment and can't seem to get a sensible sentence on paper.
See also: block

writer's cramp

A painful spasm in the hand that restricts the ability to use a pen or pencil. Back in the Paleozoic Era when people wrote by hand instead of typewriters and then computers (you youngsters can ask your parents or grandparents if you don't believe me), excessive use of a pen or pencil would cause a person's hand to tense up or go into a spasm that made further writing painful or impossible or both. The condition wasn't called “repetitive stress syndrome” back then. It was “writer's cramp,” and that was no excuse for the schoolroom punishment of being made to write “I will not talk in class” one hundred times on the blackboard.
See also: cramp
References in classic literature ?
Saintsbury's book--a writer who has dealt with all the perturbing influences of our century in a manner as classical, as idiomatic, as easy and elegant, as Steele's:
No recent English prose writer has exercised a wider influence than he, but none is likely to suffer as time goes on a greater diminution of reputation.
Of short-stories he is the most powerful recent writer, as witness 'The Man Who Would Be King,' 'The Man Who Was,' 'Without Benefit of Clergy,' and
At least that is what the writer thought and the thought pleased him.
In the bed the writer had a dream that was not a dream.
22} This would be fair from Sicily, which was doing duty for Ithaca in the mind of the writer, but a North wind would have been preferable for a voyage from the real Ithaca to Pylos.
There can be no doubt that the Odyssean line was suggested by the Iliadic, but nothing can explain why Idaeus jumping from his chariot should suggest to the writer of the "Odyssey" the sun jumping from the sea.
But the writer of the article in question goes on to point out, with insight and justice, that for a great number of people (20,000, I think he says) it is a means of livelihood - that it is, in his own words, an industry.
And, as the writer of the article which started this train of thought says with lovable warmth, the sailing of yachts is a fine art.
All right," said the Writer of Fables, in a whisper; "but for goodness' sake speak lower.
So as not to wake me," replied the Writer of Fables, a holy calm brooding upon his beautiful face.
should be remitted to the epitaph writer, or to some poet who may condescend to hitch him in a distich, or to slide him into a rhime with an air of carelessness and neglect, without giving any offence to the reader.
It is admirably remarked by a most excellent writer, that zeal can no more hurry a man to act in direct opposition to itself, than a rapid stream can carry a boat against its own current.
The writer grunted doubtfully, but took a stamp out of his desk, sealed the letter, handed it over to Kim, and departed.
The writer has given only a faint shadow, a dim picture, of the anguish and despair that are, at this very moment, riving thousands of hearts, shattering thousands of families, and driving a helpless and sensitive race to frenzy and despair.