I’m going to paste this in from the Savvy Writer’s blog, although I would like to say upfront, I personally am not advocating that one find a writing partner specifically to find someone to critique your work. That is not the most important aspect of the writing process, from my perspective, especially since we don’t always know why we want to write, nor are we all looking to be published. A lot of the time, my writing is just for me; I don’t need anyone to critique it to tell me, after a lifetime of reading published writers, that it isn’t very good, or, conversely, that it is publishable.
However, this is not to say that published, and professional, writers, do not have this as a primary concern; of course they do. It’s just not the focus of the Collaborative Writer. The urge to edit is very strong in most writers; in my opinion, it is more than a bit of an evil, and needs to be overcome, otherwise we edit our writing out of existence.
I can’t stress this strongly enough: we are way too self-critical, and focusing on the end-product, via critique, seems like a viable goal until you find yourself blocked, with nothing to say, largely because you’ve painted yourself into a corner. You’ve been so self-critical, so aware of what you “should” have said, that you no longer even know what it is you’d like to say, or might need to say.
So, this is my proviso, before you read Ms. Sebek’s otherwise excellent piece: keep in mind that she is mostly concerned with the end product, as she must be. But that doesn’t mean that all writers must think about the end product before they’ve even produced the product in the first place.
From the Savvy Writer: If you’d like to write a book or keep up with your blog, you may consider finding a writing partner who’ll motivate and inspire you to accomplish your writing goals. If you find the right writing partner, you could co-author a book together and wind up on the #1 Best-Sellers List! The key is to find someone who’s like-minded but also balances you. For example, if time management isn’t your strength, find a writing partner who has impeccable time management skills. You’ll learn how to cultivate this skill which can help you grow as a writer.
A writing partner can encourage you to say goodbye to writing gigs that keep you stuck. It may be scary at first but when you have someone supporting and telling you, “You’ll be all right,” it can make the transition smoother. You’ll earn more money because you’ll work on projects you enjoy. This will attract new clients to you because you raised your ‘vibration’ which makes you more attractive to clients.
Benefits to working with a writing partner
1. Professional criticism. Constructive criticism will improve your writing. After all, you don’t want to send shoddy writing to an editor, do you? Your writing partner can suggest how you can simply your sentences or more descriptive words. If you haven’t channeled your “inner editor,” a writing partner can point out errors such as the misuse of quotation marks (periods and commas go inside them). A writing partner can point out the overuse of exclamation points or the em dash. The feedback you receive is invaluable.
2. The melding of genius minds. Two heads are better than one, right? Perhaps you have an idea for a book but would like to co-author it. Finding the perfect writing partner means you know the idea or concept backwards and forwards; you know and understand the message. You have a clear vision and know the target audience. Choose a writing partner that isn’t caught up within their ego — this is why lawsuits unfold. The right writing partner is someone who’s open to brainstorming, adds value to you and the project, and is professional.
3. Motivation. Sometimes you’re not in the mood to write. A writing partner can motivate you to stay the course and accomplish your writing goals. If you’re stuck in your comfort zone, a writing partner can push you out of it. They can encourage you to take a risk and apply for writing projects you never dreamed of applying before. A writing partner will push you towards success and cheer you on without taking any of the credit.
4. Inspiration. Choose a writing partner that (sic) inspires you. Perhaps they wrote and published three books and coach other writers. Maybe they volunteer at a children’s organization and help young kids find their inner writer. Find a writing partner that (sic) will make you want to succeed in your writing career and do better.
5. Accountability. This word has been thrown around over the years by life coaches and therapists and has become overused; however, it still has some value. You are responsible for you. No matter how much a writing partner pushes you, they can’t use Harry Potter’s magic wand and magically make you accountable for your writing. You can only do this. Hold yourself accountable if you want a successful writing career!
Where to find a writing partner?
1. Networking events.
2. Social media websites.
3. Your local bookstore.
4. The library.
5. Local and online writing groups.
If you think you’d like a writing partner, start ‘tweeting’ about it or post something on Facebook. Reach out to writers in your community and attend local writers groups. Make a list of the qualities you want in a writing partner. List your strengths and weaknesses and see where you could use improvement. Find a writing partner that’s willing to commit to the process, and you’ll be on your way to a fun and successful writing career. Good luck!
Rebecca @ http://savvy-writer.com/2011/05/how-to-find-the-right-writing-partner/comment-page-1/#comment-16243
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