A few weeks ago, Kara Leigh Miller let me know that I was chosen to co-author a book with her through Anaiah Press. The news of this was very exciting and a little nerve wracking. How do you co-author? What if you disagree? Who writes what? Who gets the good scenes (the kissing ;))? What if your styles don't mesh? What if your pacing doesn't mesh? If you think that's a lot of questions, you should see how many pop into my head for something that requires me to interact in person. Or if I have to go out for the evening. Another story. It turns out that all of these questions were a moot point (not moo- though I, like Rachel, see an odd sense in Joey's thoughts).
Kara and I mesh very well. Our pacing aligns, we split the kissing scenes, we both write the parts we feel strongly about and the parts in between, and so far, a little bit of conversation back and forth allows for us to resolve things we see differently. It is a very unique experience to co-author with someone. I think it is similar to sharing a classroom. You feel a certain sense of ownership and protectiveness that you have to let go of. This is not an easy thing to do for teachers or writers...or women...moms...I may be in some serious trouble here.
Actually, I think I'm sitting in a pretty good spot. I am slowly learning that by releasing a bit of the need for control, I am becoming stronger in my writing. That process started some time ago, by taking advice from critique partners, agents, and industry professionals. By looking at strong examples of writing, particularly in areas I found were my weaknesses. Though writing is often said to be a solitary activity, I have not found that. Particularly when I have Facebook and Twitter open while I'm writing. Or if I write while my kids are awake. Good writing requires connecting with others, being open to opinions, criticism, feedback, change, and growth. Again, kind of like teaching.
Even when you spend your time planning how things should and could work out, they often don't follow the outline. This speaks to both writing and life. While I had my thoughts focused in one direction, I wound up on another path. This one is leading me to something I never anticipated and I truly look forward to seeing how it turns out. It doesn't change what I want for my own writing, but it has opened a different door that I think will make me a more versatile and well-rounded writer. That, and maybe it'll distract me while I wait for those other doors to open as well.