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Friday, February 14, 2014

 

Friday Speak Out!: The Odd Couple: Finding a Writing Partner, Guest Post by Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan

My writing partner is my opposite. But I wouldn't trade her in for the world.

I didn't know I needed a writing partner when I first started writing professionally full time. I thought I needed to go it alone, learn from my own mistakes, and push myself hard. But after my first failed attempt at NaNoWriMo, and a big stack of rejections grew, I decided to try a new approach. I requested a writing mentor for my second NaNoWriMo attempt and my writing has never been better.

My writing partner takes her time before sending queries, I am the one who hits send immediately. She has changed my impulsive querying in a good way. She helps me read through the query before I send and find that last typo I've overlooked.

My writing partner doesn't believe anything. She is a doubter, but I am a believer. She makes me ask deeper questions as to why someone would want to read this article, what the real interest point is, who the real target audience is. pushes me to think queries through before sending.

My writing partner doesn't mind cutting out big sections during the editing process. I cling to my darlings. "Don't worry, you'll make more words," she says ruthlessly. So I edit and revise and in the end I'm happier with the result.

We meet once a week and report our successes and failures to each other. We bounce headline ideas and story arcs off each other. We share writing by others that we love and writing that we hate. We are becoming better writers because we support each other, but also because we don't write or think the same way. But there is one thing that we do share: a growing pile of acceptances.

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Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan is a writing mom on the run. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband and three boys. Elizabeth is a professional writer and works with businesses and non-profits and has published three books available at her site http://www.onesweetwriter.com/store/. She volunteers with her local PTO, major road races, and advocates for gun safety. Elizabeth is a lifelong runner and amateur triathlete, a mediocre cook and devout coffee lover and blogs about trying it all at TryItandYouMay.com.
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Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!

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3 Comments:

Blogger Sioux said...

Elizabeth--Differences should be embraced. You and I have discovered the same thing: the differences between writing partners--if they're supportive, honest and gifted--enriches the writers.

Thanks for this post. Perhaps you will succeed in prodding someone into taking a risk and partnering with someone who has a different style/perspective...because it almost always makes the writer stronger.

6:43 PM  
Blogger LuAnn Schindler said...

well said! I have struggled to find a critique partner, especially one who is my polar opposite, but I think it ultimately helps the outcome: the writing. Luckily, I found an editor and we have this kind of relationship. It pushes both of us to be better.

10:55 AM  
Blogger LuAnn Schindler said...

well said! I have struggled to find a critique partner, especially one who is my polar opposite, but I think it ultimately helps the outcome: the writing. Luckily, I found an editor and we have this kind of relationship. It pushes both of us to be better.

10:56 AM  

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