Thursday, June 20, 2013

How to Work With Another Writer

-- Quote of the Day -- 

“I go to writer’s meetings, save all the receipts, keep track of where I go because everything is a write-off – this is a business. Even in my workshops for teens that I do in the summer I devote part of that time to marketing and business aspects of being a writer. …When I think of reward days – those are the days that I have the whole day just to write. …Writing is actually a small part of the job – what I see a lot of is that people love to write but they don’t want to market or run their business. …and they don’t want to learn the whole process they just want to write and maybe sign some books. …I think in every new project, because you can’t put your finger on exactly how it works, even if you are super organized you don’t have everything there that is going to make that book work. Because you don’t know or understand the creative work – well, I think I start every new project with thoughts like am I going to lose what I have… it is kind of walking into the unknown… things that you plot and plan really turn out totally different. Writing is a really interesting line of work, it means being not comfortable and that is hard for all of us.”

~ Kim Wuertztho

Today’s quote originates from the Conscious Discussions Talk Radio episode that aired back on … titled: World of Writing

 (*Click on the title to access the full discussion)

-- How To Work With Another Writer --

A lot of people ask us how we have managed to work together as a married couple for more than 13 years – especially when people learn that we had one office and one computer for the first 9 years. Today, of course, we have 2 computers and 2 offices with a laptop as well, and this makes the writing process much more user friendly. We have worked as freelance writers, staff writers, book reviewers, blog managers and self-marketing authors. Currently we have 5 published books and several more in various draft manuscript stages.

Over the years we have learned there are certain techniques to use, and compromises to make when dealing with a co-writer situation. Today I’ll share how we accommodate and compliment each other.

My strengths lie in organization, marketing, record-keeping, communications, research, manuscript development and typing. However, while I might gather a majority of the content – Dave is the fellow that makes sure the product is well organized, runs smoothly from one topic to the next and one paragraph to the next. Dave is an exceptional editor and proofreader, and his graphic skills are an incredible aide to our career. Because of this, before we even start writing a query letter the manuscript, the drafts for the book cover and initial marketing materials are as pristine as possible. Dave also has more technical skills than I so he does a majority of the website maintenance, graphic ad design and provides images to the media.

While Dave likes to get other things done before he heads for the office, I am just the opposite – I like to get the important office stuff done first, then I worry about the rest of the house or family needs. Usually my office time starts at 7 AM and can often run until 3 PM or later. Dave’s office time usually starts around the time I am leaving. I’m not sure how we would have balanced having only one computer and one office in the early years if we weren’t utilizing each other’s internal clocks.

I try to group things I need from Dave together, unless I’m facing a deadline, so that he isn’t bothered every 2 hours or so with a new image that I need him to create, for instance. We try to look for ways of complementing each other’s work patterns, and abilities rather than being combative. When schedules are constrained or deadlines are looming, rather than keeping track of how much more work was put in by one of us  - we look for ways of helping the person who has more on their plate.

We have mini-meetings regularly, whenever the need strikes and we talk about how we will prioritize projects we are working on and delegate some of the tasks on hand. We prompt each other to do the follow-ups or project completions when necessary and we dream, dream, dream. These brainstorming sessions lead to a long list of ideas and future projects, and help us clarify situations that would otherwise seem overwhelming.

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