For me, writing is typically a solo affair. I’m a fairly selfish person when it comes to crafting a story, and the idea of having to share it or change it based on another person’s whims does not appeal to me. My writing is all about me getting my ideas down with my pen on my paper.
That sounds kind of petulant, like a little kid, but come on, you guys feel the same, right? When blogging, it’s about getting your own thoughts out there. Right? (Unless it’s not and I’ve somehow been doing this thing wrong this whole time.)
When I was forced to write with others during my school years, it felt like such a chore. Scratch that, it felt like a crime. Like I was messing with the way things were supposed to work.
Which, now that I type that down, sounds like I have a very high opinion of my writing.
I just have the writing spirit of a crotchety old person.
Anyways, I hate collaborating with people on writing. It’s the worst.
Well, that is, unless I’m doing it with the right people.
My sister is my number one person when it comes to writing cooperatively. She’s my number one person for a lot of things, but the fact that I can collaborate with her on writing projects should still be impressive.
The two of us have always been very creative people. We relied on our imagination a lot when it came to playing with each other since we didn’t have TV growing up, and it translates well to our writing skills.
The only thing that hinders us is my sister’s moods. She has to be in the perfect mood to get into the writing spirit. Otherwise, other things will capture her attention. I do have a little trick to solve this though. I call it the Bakuman Effect. Basically, there’s this manga series we both like called Bakuman, and it’s about a pair of teenagers who decide they want to become manga artists together. The whole series is about them getting their own manga series (which is kind of meta), and it’s a real feel-good, you-can-do-it, Rocky-Karate-Kid-esque kind of story.
If my sister reads even a single issue of this series, she’ll get in a writing groove. It just inspires her faster than a bolt of lightning can flash in the sky.
She and I both like to structure our work before tackling it, but when we do, we function like dolphins herding a flock of fish.
Side note: It’s a school of fish, isn’t it? Ah well, “flock of fish” has that nifty alliteration thing going for it.
Together, my sister and I can take on any writing project that comes our way with enthusiasm and determination.
Right now, we’re on-and-off working on a fantasy thing, which is great, because the concept phase has been going on phenomenally. We’re literally creating a world and populating it with people, creatures, religions, and customs, and it’s just fan-freaking-tastic.
My friend Mia is also another person I can collaborate with.
We’ve known each other since we were little, so that kind of comfort you need in order to share ideas that might seem a little silly with another person is totally there. Hanging out with Mia is uber comforting. Being with her is almost exactly like being by yourself on a semi-cold morning with nothing pressing to do except drink your coffee before it loses its warmth.
Plus, we’re both classics fanatics when it comes to our reading preferences, so when we write together, we get to indulge that side of ourselves. We take inspiration from poetry and hefty works of literature, molding them into something of our own.
Our best work together actually happened in college, in this terrible creative writing class we took. (Yeah, it was ironically funny.)
When Mia and I write together, we just lose ourselves.
The final person I thoroughly enjoy collaborating with is my friend Andreya. The two of us working together is just an exercise in crazy. We are wild hilarity in human form. We can spend hours together, just bouncing around every idea under the sun. Nothing is too insane to at least talk about.
Admittedly, I do most of the writing in this pairing, but I kind of prefer it that way. Andreya is like a springy diving board, and our work is the pool I eventually plunge into after our time partnering.
The greatest thing about Andreya is her ability to entertain any notion, spin it, and turn it into something new. She’s like an endless font of inspiration, an inventor with a mind that keeps churning out ideas.
So remember how I was a sour-puss about collaborating with people when I write?
I don’t hate it when it’s with these three people specifically.
It’s kind of an acquired taste.