By Jennifer S. Wilkov, host of the “Your Book Is Your Hook!” Show on WomensRadio
As authors and writers, we’re always learning about resources and industry tools that we can use to improve our book project performance and the enjoyment of our writing and marketing experiences. Today let’s talk about writing partnerships – the good, the bad and the ugly.
Just like romantic relationships, there are those writers who opt to work together to write a book or a series of books. Just like any business partnership, there are times where the partners agree and other times when the partners disagree. There is also the fusion of creativity between two people that results in the book. It’s very similar to getting married and having a baby.
For many writing partnerships though, as it similarly happens in romance, there are people who jump right in without getting to really know their partner and forge a relationship based on the idea for the book at hand. Oftentimes, agreements and other considerations are not addressed before the writing partners are off to the races with just writing the book. Instead, the book takes precedence over any thoughts about the relationship and the setting up of the foundation for a great, long-lasting partnership.
As a partner, essential considerations of how the project is going to fit into each person’s lifestyle, time schedule and finances should be considered before jumping right in and collaborating. This could make a huge difference for avoiding discord down the road.
The book that results from the collaboration of more than one person becomes a commitment that the partners must acknowledge and own. It is like becoming parents. The book will require time, attention, financing and other support to succeed. The more transparent each partner can be with one another, the better decisions each person can make about staying committed to the project and supporting its success.
Writing partners have disagreements and differences of opinions, just like those that occur in other types of relationships. In a writing partnership, it is sometimes easier to take things personally as writing is a relatively revealing experience. Creative investment in a project opens you up for criticism, feedback and real dialogue about your work. It is often a hot bed for tempers to flair, passive aggressive behavior and down right silent treatments and stonewalling. Writing partners sometime lose their ability to communicate with one another and end up seeking counseling, just as a married couple would seek marriage counseling.
The neatest projects though come from those partners who are able to write together, respect each other’s humanity and other life commitments, weather unexpected storms and support one another through unanticipated life circumstances.
I have been through an unpleasant writing partnership myself and these days I feel blessed to work with my current writing partner. She is an incredible human being and we are a genuine example of how writing partnerships can really exist harmoniously, respectfully and with non-judgment. We often get asked about our professional relationship and how we are able to work together so well.
Before you decide to jump into your first or next writing partnership, think about your life and the commitments you currently have. Determine if you have the time to dedicate to a writing project with someone else who is going to have expectations of you, depend on your completion of tasks in order to start others and look to you to financially and emotionally support the project you take on. Be true to yourself as to whether you feel you can be a great partner before you dive into the collaboration.
More than being respectful to your potential writing partner, you’ll be respecting yourself and the commitments you already have. In the end, if you do choose to write a book with someone else and you each commit to the project from a place of understanding of how it will fit into your respective lives, you’ll find that the writing partnership you create could be one of your most rewarding life experiences.
For more information on this Education Corner topic and others, please refer to www.YourBookIsYourHook.com/blog for more articles and resources to help you with your books.