Why work with a writing partner or group?

Of course it’s perfectly fine to write only for yourself. Your published words, however, are not just for you.

Published words are for readers.

You agree to an unwritten contract when you publish. You imply that you have done your very best to write well.

Potential readers might choose to finish a scrapbook project, or stroll on the beach collecting shells, or enjoy a gourmet dinner with friends. If you want people to spend their valuable time deciphering your words,  it’s your duty to give them good words, coherent sentences, orderly paragraphs, and something interesting to read.

Before publishing, many many writers work with writing partners who respectfully and dispassionately read their early drafts, to identify where there is need for improvement. Why? 

  • Out there in the real world, your writing must stand on its own. When a reader is alone with your words, there is no opportunity for you to explain what you meant to say. You can’t win the reader over with your persuasive personality or good looks. You can’t clarify irony or sarcasm with vocal expression or body language. Your words are everything. A writing partner helps you know whether you’ve found the right words.
  • It’s a writer’s job to a bridge of understanding between his words and a reader. A writing partner is the reader who talks back to you. She helps you see where things are muddled, where the bridge isn’t strong enough to carry a reader over the vast chasm of potential misunderstanding.
  • We writers are like doting parents when it comes to our own writing. We tend not to see our words objectively. We know what we mean. A trusted partner can tell us where we’ve failed to be clear, where we’re droning, boring, repetitious, where our voice is preachy, arrogant, whiny.

For whom are you writing?

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12 comments

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  2. You actually make it seem really easy with your presentation however I find this matter to be actually one thing that I feel I might by
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    I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll attempt to get
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    1. Sometimes it just takes a renewed commitment. Life tends to get in the way and disrupt the flow sometimes–and that’s okay. We don’t think it’s a good idea to make the production or publishing of writing the most important thing in life. People and relationships matter tremendously.

      People who get their priorities out of order, who make writing the primary focus of their lives, tend to produce writing that is, in our opinion, also out of whack, emotionally and morally.

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