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Daily Archives: March 6, 2012

Guest post: Why you need a writing confidant by Lauren Bailey

Tonight’s guest blog post, on the topic of writing partnerships is brought to you by Lauren Bailey (no relation!).

Why you need a writing confidant

Writing is a solitary activity. It’s a vocation that requires nothing more than your mind and a piece of paper (or more like a Word document) and sheer will power. After so much solitude, it’s only natural to fall prey to writing block or become anxious about the merit of your writing. Unless you work in journalism or for a literary magazine, it’s not often that you’ll share your writing with an editor or among your peers before you publish or submit it for review. To save yourself from the isolating nature of writing, I strongly recommend recruiting a fellow writer to be your confidant in the craft.

Having a writing confidant provides a mutually beneficial dynamic for two people who work in a traditionally solitary art. Your writing confidant could be someone whom you bounce ideas off of, or someone whose opinions you trust for constructive criticism. If you’ve ever attended a successful writing workshop or collaborated with another writer on a joint writing project, you’ll already understand the value of having another writer with whom to share your woes, ideas, and creative aspirations.

If not for any other reason, consider finding a peer to share your writing with for the sake of having a fresh pair of trained eyes review your work. Another writer’s perspective can be invaluable to your writing process. To put this in perspective, consider a rather simplistic example. Say that there are two budding short story writers who have ambitions to submit their work to small literary journals and magazines in an effort to start their writing careers. One of the writers shares their work with their best friend who has known them all their life. The other writer befriends a fellow struggling writer and chooses to share their draft with them. Who do you think will offer the more substantial criticism, the best friend or the fellow writer? I’d put money on the best friend giving nothing but praise and admiration to the first writer, whereas the second writer would receive at least a few critical words about their work.

The point is that writers understand each other’s struggles. Even if you aren’t looking for a peer review, the friendship of another writer could be a healthy one if just to have a set of ears that will truly listen to what you have to say. Writers exist as islands apart from the mainland continent of society, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t visit each other from time to time for a dose of perspective.

You need not look any further than the relationships between famous writers throughout the ages to understand the merits of such a pairing. Hemingway and Fitzgerald corresponded with each other a great deal, arguably to the benefit of their work. The British novelist Martin Amis and the British poet Philip Larkin similarly kept up a strong correspondence through their lives, and much of their discussion involved the vicissitudes of the craft. If you follow suit, I would bet that your writing could only improve.

Thank you, Lauren!

This guest post is contributed by Lauren Bailey, who regularly writes for Accredited Online Colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: blauren99@gmail.com.

If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. If it’s writing-related then it’s highly likely I’d email back and say “yes please”.

The blog interviews return as normal tomorrow morning with multi-genre author Phyllis Zimbler Miller – the three hundred and first of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at Smashwords, Sony Reader Store, Barnes & Noble, iTunes Bookstore and Kobo. And I have a new forum athttp://morgenbailey.freeforums.org.

 

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