Convention has it that writers work alone, in isolation. But the truth is, every writer is part of this larger conversation between writers and readers.
This quote was how I finished my last blog, and I was discussing the relationship between the writer and the reader. But why not a far more immediate conversation? What about the opportunities offered in collaborative writing? Writers generally communicate with other writers, and while this is valuable and enriching, why not consider taking this further step.
Think about it – surely there is truth in the old adage Two heads are better than one. Every motivation program suggests working with a buddy to keep your motivation up, whether the task be exercise, postgraduate study, or weight loss dieting. Certainly working with a buddy can be a lot more fun than working alone.
A glance along the shelves of your favourite bookstore may surprise you – collaborative authorship is becoming more common. Collaboration is the norm in many artistic and creative endeavours – the program of any movie, play or musical offering will reveal that the work is the result of a collaboration between writer/s, choreographers, musicians, and many more. All combining to present a unified ‘voice’.
Collaboration is accepted and expected in science and academic fields, in fact it would be more surprising to find a scientist or researcher working alone. So why not writers? Why not give it a try?
How many methods of collaboration can you think of? There are so many; none right or wrong, just variations on a theme. Consider these possibilities:
- simply working together, sentence by sentence, to create a single voice
- writing alternate sections or chapters, in two (or more) distinctly different voices
- each writing alone, then blending the texts
- writing alternate paragraphs, sections or chapters
- writing collaboratively with your closest writing buddy
- writing collaboratively online with a writer you have never met
- writing collaboratively with a writer whose style and genre differ from your own.
The possibilities are endless! Collaborative writing may be a new way forward for you, or a way to introduce some fun and energy into your writing, or it may be not for you at all. But you will never know until you give it a try.
And let me know your results.
I wish you great good luck and much joy in your writing.