The Buddy System

When it comes to writing, don't always go it alone.


Recently, I’ve added working with a collaborator to my list of writing goals. The idea of working with someone on a project first appealed to me when I got to know the poet, columnist, and painter LC Van Savage.

At the time of our introduction, her as-told-to biography about classic film star Virginia Mayo had just been published. I envied LC for having the chance to speak with someone both of us had admired on the screen.

I asked LC questions, and she told me stories about the people she had the pleasure of knowing over the years. Her stories made me want to seek out my own interviewees. It took me a long time to land a few, but I eventually did, and each was rewarding. I imagine it would be just as satisfying to write with someone, to trade ideas and see what each person could contribute.

A friend of mine and I once talked about working on a historical novel together, but she declined, worrying that we might end up getting into a disagreement about the project. I still think working with her is a good idea, though, and can only hope that one day she’ll feel more comfortable about collaborating with me.

It’s funny: Before connecting with other authors, I never had the desire to work with anyone. However, as I spend countless hours alone at my desk, I realize just how solitary the writing life is. When the flow of ideas temporarily stops, it would be wonderful to seek suggestions (and moral support) from another human being.

So, if you’re like me and are interested in finding a writing partner, I encourage you to start looking around. That’s exactly what I’m doing because I know there are projects out there I won’t be able to tackle without a little help from my friends.

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