I originally had a different idea for this post, but I wanted to write this one instead after thinking about my own writing buddy, who so happens to be Keionda who blogs here too. Every time I need to speed write or get a whole lot of writing out of the way in one go, I always message her and then off we go! Writing all the words in the little bit of time we can spare. Keionda is a master writer… it always amazes me how many words she can churn out in an hour alone. But even though I love her speed – we’ve got to stay on topic this once.
Why should you even bother to find a writing buddy?
Even though a lot of people say you should write your first draft behind closed doors and then share it with others, I would disagree. You don’t necessarily have to hand over the scraps of a draft you have so far to someone else to read. But writing your first draft should be fun, and it should end up rubbish, and it definitely shouldn’t take too long (the latter is something that a lot of writers struggle with.) What you need to do is find a writing partner who can make the time to write with you. Then you need to word war! Word wars can last 10-15 minutes if you want them to. That means 10-15 minutes writing as much as possible, and then seeing who wrote the most at the end. Too easy? Go for a word marathon. An hour flat out writing against your partner, and then see who has the most words. It’s so much harder writing for an hour straight then you think!
Note: when word warring, you need to be ready for it! Keionda’s got some fabulous tips that will help you be ready for those sprints here!
Okay, I have a writing buddy. We’ve written together and look, our first drafts are done! Now what?
Well, now you need to set yourself an editing deadline of course! But make sure you share this deadline with your writing buddy, and that you remember theirs too. It’s now your official job to play mean and pester them until they get that editing all done and dusted.
Editing all dusted and done! Next step, please…
Alright! You’ve got your novel and you think you’re ready to publish, share – whatever you are intending to do with it. But there is another step you might have missed. It’s time to find yourself some beta readers who will give you some criticism that will only make your book better, hopefully. It can be hard to know where to start when it comes to looking for beta readers, but luckily you already have a candidate! Your writing buddy! And the best thing about it is that they have been with you all through the writing process so they know how much you care about this novel. Which means they are fully prepared to be brutally honest and shred your novel to bits. Don’t worry, this is actually helping you.
If I haven’t convinced you to find a writing buddy yet, then let me tell you this…
Countless times you probably have heard that writing is a journey, a test, a pain that you just can’t get rid of. It’s true. But the thing about writing is that like any journey, any test (well maybe not this one, because exams and all that stuff, but LIFE tests!) and any pain, you don’t have to go through it alone. And you shouldn’t. That’s why it’s time for you to partner up!
Over to you: Do you have a writing buddy yet? Would you want one?