Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is: writing partners and accountabilibuddies. Those people we don’t write with, as in we’re not collaborating, but the people we write alongside. Simultaneously or not. In tandem. In company.
See, the thing is, writing is by nature a solitary activity. Unless you’re collaborating with someone, writing comes down to the writer and the words. For many writers, however – it’s certainly true for me – that silence and uninterrupted time to concentrate on story flow is key to getting the stories written. It can be isolating, even lonely.
But, it doesn’t have to be! There are lots of ways to foster a sense of camaraderie without violating the fortress of solitude we need to be focused. I often co-work with Darynda Jones, for example. We “meet” on Zoom, minimize the screen and mute for one-hour sprints. Then we break, chat, compare progress and angst, then go again. It’s a great way to work together, while being separately in our writing studios, 200 miles apart.
I’m also super gratified to see writers gathering in the #laying-bricks channel of my mentoring and coaching Discord, Jeffe’s Closet. People asked for a place to post that they’re settling in to write, to enjoy the community and positive accountability of other people doing the same. The “laying bricks” aspect refers to one of my favorite analogies for writing novels: that it’s a process of laying bricks, day after day, patiently progressing. I love popping in and seeing everyone getting their words on for the day.
We’re not alone.