A writing partner, you say? Why in the world would you want one?
Well, let me tell you...if you find the right match, a person who "gets you" and your writing style, then you will have hit writer's gold. In all honesty, I'm not sure that I would be the writer that I am today without my perfect writing partner at my side. She's been there from the beginning, and boy, does she GET ME.
Not only can I bounce ideas off her and get her input, but on the rare occasion that we get together in person, I can sit in my pjs on my laptop, knowing that she too, will be sitting in her pjs writing on her laptop.
Our relationship is the ultimate balance of push and pull. Enough push to get me to put my butt in the chair and my fingers on the laptop. Enough pull that when either of us make a suggestion we don't like, we feel safe to say, "Nope. You can't make me. You're not my real dad."
For example, we were able to meet for a few days for a local writing conference. We stayed in an Airbnb and split the cost (another benefit of having a writing partner/friend). During that time, on our down day, we sat in our pjs (pajamas are the BEST) and did a few writing sprints. We also made goals with rewards as a motivator. If we meet X goal, we get to do Y as a reward. Rewards motivate me, especially if they are the RIGHT rewards.
What kind of goal and reward system does someone like me and my writing partner make? Well, do a couple of writing sprints and if we both feel we've made progress in our writing, we reward ourselves with a nap.
I like naps. And pjs, too, obviously.
You're probably like, WHAT?!? But yes, the idea of being able to go and lay down, uninterrupted, for thirty minutes is a definite motivator. I'm super easy to please.
The perfect writing partner needs to push you, force you to look at the big picture, help you set goals, and help you decide on a plan on how you're going to get there.
Writing can be a lonely endeavor. You sit alone with your thoughts with your fingers on a keyboard. To find someone who understands the process, understands the blinking cursor on a blank page, and the ultimate joy of breaking through the barriers of writer's block can be a game changer.
But you HAVE to find the right partner for you. There has to be equal give and take.
I have found mine, and I'm incredibly grateful that I did (I sure hope she feels the same).
Here's a couple of good reasons to find a good writing partner:
1) When you're riddled with self-doubt, they can help push you through it with their encouragement.
2) Having someone with a fresh perspective is a total benefit when you're unsure which direction to take your plot.
3) They become someone to be accountable to.
4) They are someone you know who will be truly honest with you. They will tell you if they like your characters and story line or if they think you've lost your damn mind and you're driving your story right off the rails. Honesty is super important. You get almost instant feedback from them.
5) They will help balance you out. You won't be strong in every area of writing, but where you might be weak, they might be strong. They could help strengthen aspects of your writing that you struggle with. Your writing skills will improve because of this.
6) Helping someone with their story will help you have a more critical eye when it comes to your own work, and it will also give your subconscious a break from your own story and time to think through issues you might be having.
You might be asking yourself, "Okay, Smarty Pants. Sounds like a writing buddy might be awesome, but where do I find my perfect writing partner?"
Again with the honesty, it might take a bit of looking to find that perfect match. Just like finding love in your life, you might have to kiss a lot of writer toads until you find the right toad for you. Kind of a bad analogy, but you get the drift. Not every writer you meet will be a good fit. But don't give up.
Your perfect writing partner is out there, if you keep looking. (I found mine years ago, through a local writing group).
I will list a few links to articles below that give you ideas on where you can start looking for your perfect match.
Basically, be open to the idea of finding a great writing friend and partner. And even more importantly, BE a great writing friend and partner once you find them. The benefits are SO worth it.
40 Places to Find a Critique Partner
Where to Find Critique Partners and Groups
Critique Partner Match