Team Effort

It’s funny, but for all that writing is considered a solitary pursuit, the actual act of getting pubbed requires much more than a Team of One.  (At least for me).  I mean, sure – the writing belongs to me, the act of putting the words on the page, the sitting of my ass in the chair to actually do the work  – but there’s so much going on behind the scenes that it’s really unfair to claim all the glory for myself. (And I use the term glory *very* loosely – LOL – sometimes it’s nothing more than slamming my face into the keyboard.)
But behind many writers is a coterie of people – the beta readers, for example, who are willing to run through your book again and again and again. This can be so important during editing, because after a while I know that I’ve looked at those pages so many times I can no longer discern if I’m nitpicking something to death. (Usually I know I’ve reached that point when I’ve decided that everything I’ve written is crap and I’m going to burn my laptop.)
And then line editors  – more than just beta, this person actually helps me go through line by line and fix up all the tiny things – my comma issues, for example. I’m told I’m a bit of a fucktard when it comes to them, so I need all the help I can get.
Motivators – the people willing to stand in your corner and cheer when you’re doing well and give you virtual hugs when you’re not. Even if they can’t give your ms or wip a full reading, they’re willing to encourage you to keep writing – and sometimes just knowing they’re around is help enough.
Advice Givers – the experienced writers, the pubbed authors, the people who have been there and done that. I find them on forums and mailing loops, critique groups, blogs and local writing groups. I’m horribly grateful for all the lovely people who come out of the woodwork when I’ve needed a question answered or a different perspective on an issue. In this business (or just about any other), it could be so easy to just clam up and hoard all that experience, but I’ve really found that’s not the case in the writing community. People seem very willing and open to talk about how things worked for them, and even if I can’t use everything I’m told, I know it’s there.
ETA: Family – some days a spouse just has to understand that no, you’re not coming to bed until 1 am tonight.  And yes it’s hard and yes there has to be a balance, but as long as the communication is there and you make time, it can work. 🙂

Guess I’m feeling sentimental today.  (No worries, I’ll be back to the regularly scheduled snark fest tomorrow).
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One Response to Team Effort

  1. jesusangelgarcia says:

    There’s no such thing as a Team of One, in my experience, in any aspect of life. The Zen folks call this One Mind. Jungians say it’s the collective unconscious. Tree huggers invoke Gaia.

    In my experience, writing is about letting go of the empty notion of “self” long enough to channel the stories that need telling. The road to publishing, I’m convinced, opens wide via community, perseverance, right place and time, and raw hunger. Both require a relentless work ethic.

    http://www.badbadbad.net

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