Collaboration


Like most writers I thrive on being alone with my characters. Part of my love of writing is getting totally in the zone which for me requires solitude. This is important to the creative process. However, just as vital to the creative process is collaboration. The ability to get together with other writers and talk about craft. It’s one reason I am a big proponent of critique groups.

There are some writers who write in isolation and prefer to not have a group or to collaborate in other ways. That works for them. However, for the rest of us it may require more. A network(sometimes global) of like-minded people who help us get through the darkness so we can see the light. We have all talked about that before, but there’s another aspect of it also.

There’s a natural high to collaborating with other writers. If you doubt it, attend a conference or a class. Have coffee one-on-one with another writer or artist, and you’ll find your spirits buoyed by the interaction. It always works that way for me, and I am so thankful for my writing collaborators. They all bring me different insights and perspectives. Each of their voices are unique and add a new spin to my own. Where would I be without their support? Not published, not productive, not content in my writing career.

Thanks to my writing collaborators: Natasha, Leatrice, Marsha, Nicole, Anne, and new addition, Andy. I am so grateful I’m surrounded by this wealth of talent.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Collaboration

  1. I think it was Mercedes Lackey who said that when you’re blocked on something in a book you’re writing, the mere act of explaining the block in the storyline out loud moves the problem into the other side of your brain. I’m not sure if that’s true, but it sounds like it’s worth a try anyway.
    And of course, if the person that you’re talking to can offer a completely different perspective, all the better! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. It’s certainly been my experience that it helps. 🙂

  3. I was just about to post on this. But now guess I’ll have to come up with something else. I so agree with you on this. It’s easy to get frustrated, especially for anyone who’s ever sent a query letter. The support of someone who can fully sympathize with what we experience on our paths to become career writers is so important.

    Plus, it’s good not getting weird looks when I talk about the voices in my head. 🙂

    • dawnall

      Totally. Those weird looks aren’t good. Yet, we have to answer to those voices in our heads so what can we do? Glad that you’re one of my collaborators!

  4. I’m a columnist for Write Anything. One of their recent monthly topics was on collaboration. My fellow writers all had wonderful posts that were spot-on, but I froze. Couldn’t think of a thing to say. I never collaborate on my writing, wouldn’t mind doing it, but haven’t the foggiest how to start. Good article.

    • dawnall

      Early in my writing I actually wrote on a team. It was the most amazing experience. Because it was such a good time, I hope to do it again someday. Do you belong to any groups, Jacqui?

  5. Hi Dawn, I’m another Campaigner as well 🙂

    To me, there is nothing more valuable than my trusted friends that I can talk out any writing issue I have with. I have one friend that I can just text and we’ll both be online together at the soonest time possible to chat through frustrations of excitement. I can’t plot or critique in a crowd, but I can write.

    I think that’s why I love NaNoWriMo so much – because that support group comes together automatically during that time.

  6. dawnall

    Welcome Campaigner! Isn’t texting another great writer’s tool? And Skype? We have learned that between group meetings we can Skype each other and there’s something about the visual that helps us with the process.

  7. Hey Dawn–fellow thriller-suspense campaigner here. Don’t get me started on my critique group–I could go on all day! There are four of us–one writes mystery, another sweet romance, and another literary fiction. I write YA and suspense. Though it seems odd, we mesh in an amazing way. We all bring something different to the table and when all the comments are laid out, they form a complete whole. They are motivating, talented, and creative women, and I am proud to call them my friends..

    • dawnall

      Tess – I think that’s the beauty of it, don’t you? The diversity does bring different perspectives to our work that we alone cannot. I love that aspect. We write the same things you and I. YA and suspense. 🙂

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