Don’t Forget To Thank Your Writing Partner

Earlier this week, I sent query letters out to four literary agents. This was a big step for me. I’d been dreaming of becoming a published author since the age of 5 and, since then, I’d done absolutely nothing to make it happen. Now I have a book proposal — polished and ready to go — and four query letters out the door.

In fact, within 15 minutes, one of the agents responded to me, asking to see my full proposal. I thought I was going to pass out from excitement, but I pulled it together long enough to send him what I had. He responded almost immediately, saying he would try to get back to me either way by the end of the week.

This very well might mean I’m about to get the quickest rejection ever (well, okay… not ever) but, nevertheless, I’m ecstatic. I’m closer than I’ve ever been to making this happen.

And I never would have done it if I wasn’t being held accountable by my writing partner.

What my writing partner did for me:

  • helped me choose one big project to focus on
  • helped me set regular writing, querying, and business goals
  • helped me set deadlines for the above goals
  • read my weekly status reports, cheering me on when I was extra productive
  • threatened my life when I slacked (or just generally emanated an aura of disapproval)
  • marked up everything I sent her with edit marks and insightful comments and questions
  • scheduled regular Skype chats with me to discuss those suggested edits (and to talk work gossip, sex, infertility, and Chicken McNuggets)
  • held me accountable
  • kept me on track
  • made my book a possibility, rather than an elusive dream

The day after I sent out those queries, we had another Skype chat. At the end, we discussed what our next writing goals would be. I was feeling distracted by the thought of those book queries. How could I concentrate on anything else!? But I attempted to pull my weight. “I still need to make revisions to that Freelance Awesome Starter Kit,” I said, “but I should really concentrate on developing magazine queries and drumming up new work.”

“Well, can’t you do both?”

Yes. Yes I could.

Lyz Lenz is a so-funny-she’ll-make-you-snort writer who blogs over at LyzLenz.com. She also writes for Babble, TruTV, NewParent, and other publications. We met when I was permalancing at YourTango. She manages the community there (among her many other responsibilities). She lives far, far away (Iowa), but she is my platonic life partner. I’m lucky to have her as my writing partner as well.

And since it’s Thanksgiving and all, I want to thank her. I want to thank her for forcing me to accomplish this despite myself.

Writing partners are one of the best things in the world. They’re up there with Candy Cane Kisses and cats and yoga and So You Think You Can Dance. They’re up there with episodes of Castle and The Sing-Off, and with pillow-top mattresses and coffee. If you need a reminder of why you should get one yourself… well, here.

Have you thanked your writing partner this Thanksgiving?

Related: Finding a Writing Partner Who Will Make Your Dreams Come TrueBreakneck Book Report: Adair Lara’s Naked, Drunk, and Writing, Wanted: A Writing Partner Who Can Kick My Writing Ass

Trackbacks

  1. […] Critical instinct is honed, not inborn. It’s hard to be objective about your own work — to “kill your darlings” and get rid of those 50-cent words and worn cliches — but getting better at it is a learned trait. The workshopping process is something you can take with you: Write. Review it quietly later. Red pen the shit out of it. Read it out loud. (A must). Revise. Now rinse, repeat, and repeat again — alone, or with a writing partner. […]

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