For me, writing is a powerful thing. I am the creator of a world and people that until that point had never existed. I rule over this world with a mighty pen and control the fate of the creations within the pages. But, along with great power comes great responsibility. It’s not enough to play god. I have to develop a story that is not only worthy of being read, but also able to be read (published). That often feels like a daunting task. Roadblocks of writer’s block and time constraints often have me feeling frantic that a story will never see itself to completion.
Even with the stress involved, the power of being “the creator” is nice little perk. I often find myself falling in love with the world I’ve created and using it as my escape from the everyday stresses in real life.
That escape element makes writing an intensely personal endeavor. The world I create is my world. It belongs to no one else. I spend a lot of time and energy into develop that vision as I work my world into a readable and enjoyable story. In that world, I grow my characters from seeds of inspiration, and watch them develop into actual entities. Their thoughts and feelings, their lives, their interactions, they all become real within the confines of that world.
Because of this intensely personal nature, Writing is not a craft that often lends itself to collaboration. Collaboration means giving up control, it means letting someone into my world and trusting that they will not abuse their power while in it.
In that respect, choosing to work with a partner is a lesson in Submission.
It’s not always an easy lesson. This world I’ve created is personal. It’s an extension of myself. Letting someone in is a deeply intimate act. Once inside, they will have the ability to manage and manipulate my characters. They can do so much damage.
Just as the Dom/Sub relationship relies on trust and faith, so too does the co-authoring partnership. You have to trust that the partner you are working with has a vision and goals that match your own. That both of you, no matter how you might differ on opinions, are working toward the best story possible.
It’s never easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it.
I’ve never been one to relinquish control of anything. I’m more than OCD in my writing. I don’t like having to listen to others opinions. I don’t like people telling me what I should and shouldn’t do with my characters.
Much like our character, Natasha, I like to control it all. And much like Natasha, I find myself feeling heartburn and stressed out over stories that I can’t seem to see to fruition.
But, as I have learned, there are some benefits to letting go of some control.
Writer’s block, being one of the biggest road blocks becomes much smaller an obstacle when there are two writers battling against it. When stalled on a story and I simply cannot find the solution, I’ve learned that if I let go of that control, that need to make this story 100% mine, and to trust in my writing partner, the answers become clear. Sometimes he might have the answer and next step in the vision, and sometimes, just through chatting about the story, the solution presents itself.
Does it always work smoothly, no, but having a partner I can trust, and letting go and trusting him has proven itself to be very beneficial.
Do you think co-authoring stories would work for you? I'd love to hear your thoughts.