Did you read our blog, The Dos and Don’ts for Writing Duos? If not, do not read any further until you read that! Oh, you have read it already? Then please proceed.
If you decide to write a book with a friend or colleague, there are some things you should know, some things you should look out for and some things that will definitely come up. Keep this list close to your heart. It could save your (literary) life later.
- Choose Your Partner Wisely: Writing a book with someone is as important as marriage (Or starting a business). It takes a tremendous amount of commitment from both parties, an agreement to both do your best and it usually means you will be sharing small spaces for long amounts of time. If that seems like a recipe for disaster, you’re right. So, choose appropriately. This person should be someone you trust, who is dependable and someone you can laugh with.
- Be Mindful of Time: If you decide to write together, edit together and practically do everything together–be ready for a lot less time in your life. When writing a book with someone you need to prioritize otherwise you will accomplish nothing at all. Consider writing separately and editing separately. Save the together time as an opportunity to point out specific questions, not the entire text. Also, set realistic deadlines and meet them every time.
- Make a To-Do List and Stick to it: If you are both writing, then discuss writing separate chapters or separate sections. This way both parties are heard and accounted for. If you decide to split the tasks and someone crosses the line and does someone’s share, it can be an ego blow to the gut. On the other hand, if you are the person who is not accomplishing your goals on time you might be a jerk.
- Be Committed: If you set goals and expectations as a team, don’t suddenly lose steam. You are no longer just you anymore, you are a team. So act like it. If you do begin to have problems or even lose momentum, talk to your teammate. He or she can help pull you up, or at least slap some sense into you.
- Compromise: Well, that is a heavy word. There are two people in your team (or more) and each of those persons has an opinion so keep that in mind. Be mindful of the things you are unwilling to bend on, but be willing to meet in the middle. Don’t be that person who demands to take charge, this is both (or all) of your book, so act like a team and make decisions together.
- Finally, Celebrate the Small Things: You guys are still friends (or colleagues, or in a relationship, or acquaintances) so celebrate. Do fun things together, even if they do not relate to your book. More importantly, if you finish writing, celebrate. If you finish editing, celebrate. If you finish editing for the second time, celebrate. If you finish editing for the thirtieth time, celebrate. Keep in mind, celebrate is at the end of the list, because do not lose sight of the goals you set. Don’t party too much!
Now that you know the rules, go write a book with someone!