Writers are highly creative individuals. They use words to weave beautiful fabrics of reality with which they depict magical worlds that mirror the real world. The pen (a keyboard and word processor these days) is their paintbrush and they use it to paint the most breathtaking landscapes.
And yet it’s really easy to get trapped in your solitude as a writer. Writers are, after all, mostly solitary creatures.
We hunch over our desks and type away, oblivious of what transpires in the real world around us. While this is great for creativity and productivity, it can be equally beneficial to have a kindred spirit around to support us in our writing endeavors.
Connect with a Kindred Spirit Who's a Writer
A writing partner isn’t just about having someone sit and write with you as you go about doing your work; it’s about a lot more than that. In fact, with the internet age upon us, a writing partner doesn’t even have to be physically present there with you.
I have a writing partner myself, who has a day job but is working on a thriller novel in his pastime. We don’t sit together physically, but we video chat a lot. Sometimes, we get on Skype and write together and it’s just like we were seated right next to each other working and conversing.
We also critique each other’s pieces a lot. I read his rough drafts and he reads mine. It’s a mutually beneficial and thoroughly enjoyable relationship.
Benefits of Having a Writing Partner
Just in case you still need a little more convincing about why you might need a writing partner, here are a few tips that’ll shed more light on the benefits of having a writing parter:
1. They inspire you
In writing, just as in any other field, it’s important to have colleagues and partners that inspire you. It would be a pity if you don’t have someone who makes you aspire to more and want to be more than you already are.
A writing partner who you feel is better than you or who is making progress in the craft will give you just the right amount of inspiration to spur you forward in your own writing and creativity. They will make you a little more conscious of your writing style because they will likely have their own.
You might even find yourself emulating their style and experimenting with it for a bit to see if you can successfully incorporate it into your own style. The result is that your style will evolve and get better as you fuse it with other styles. You wouldn’t be able to get that if you worked in isolation, in your solitary comfort zone.
2. They critique your work
A good writing partner is like a sounding board for not just your ideas, but also your writing. Quite often we live in something of a bubble as writers and think we are so good at our work that we don’t need a critique of any sort. But that’s not true, is it? Everyone needs some critique from time to time and everyone needs to be given some valuable tips on how they can improve their work, writing included.
A good writing partner can read your work and give you an unbiased opinion about your work. My writing partner blends both the academic and science fiction writing fields and so he can make a very good critique of different pieces I am writing. I also critique his work and together we hone each other’s skills to a fine point. That’s something you wouldn’t be able to get if you were working alone.
3. They help you deal with burnout
Burnout is a real issue that every writer deals with at various points in their career. There are times when you just want to throw in the towel and stop it altogether; or days when you don’t want to get out of bed because you don’t see the point of it all.
Usually, burnout is nothing more than mental fatigue. All you need is take some time off to rest your body and mind before diving back into it with a refreshed mind. But often we’re too caught up in the moment to appreciate the long-term view of things and burnout ends up stretching out for longer than it’s supposed to.
This is where a writing partner comes in. They can help you get through this difficult phase by giving you the encouragement you need. They understand your journey because they are on a similar one themselves. They know just when you need to stop, what you need to hear to take that deserved break, and what to say to get you back on the horse and keep moving.
4. They’re your partner—and friend
A writing partner is, first and foremost, your partner. But, more than that, they are also your friend. And don’t we all need friends who support us in what we love?
My writing partner and I have shared many great times and have many shared experiences that have nothing to do with writing. We have given each other life advice, had fun together, been there for each other during tough times, be it emotionally, financially, socially, and just personally. We are pretty much best friends.
What better thing is there than having a close friend you can count on, with whom you share a career as well? I can’t think of a more pleasurable thing in this life.
Ultimately, a writing partner can help you get much farther with your writing career than you would get on your own. Look for one who is your friend outside writing. They can make for one of the most fruitful relationships you ever have in life. When you find the right writing partner, you will wonder how it is you managed to ever write alone in the first place!