I did the due diligence and looked up ghostwriting in these forums, and found out any expectations of being a published writer with samples--my entire reason for using this platform--are misinformed. That unless otherwise specified, it's assumed that your writing isn't yours once it's given to the client. In spite of there being an entire "ghostwriting" section, it's all ghostwriting unless otherwise specified.
I found this out by scouring the internet for my name and the article's subject matter, and looking at the byline, 6 months after the gig. I asked the client to let me know when it was up. He said sure, then didn't, presumably because he realized I had no idea I was ghostwriting. Luckily, I gravitated toward editing. Higher paying, longer term, etc. So this only happened to me twice that I care about.
I suppose I question why there's a ghostwriting section at all if it's all presumed to not be ours once written? And if anyone has pointers on getting my work published with my name (since this, apparently, isn't it), I would appreciate them. I'm just so disappointed. I put everything into researching and writing those articles, so excited for recent samples in my portfolio. And I can't help but be certain that there are many newbie freelancers here who don't know they aren't getting published. I guess I wish there was a "do you agree that everything you create isn't yours" checkbox when you create a freelance writing account, to save anyone else from working for six months before realizing they aren't getting what they hoped for out of it.
Yes, I'm disappointed and in my feels about it right now. But I'm genuinely wondering if there's something that can be done to make it obvious that Upwork is not a way to get writing samples, even if the idea that we would get published is naive. Thanks in advance. Off to throw things.