There are many reasons people approach me about collaborative writing. Sometimes they just need a writer to generate topical content to complete a project they’re working on. Often, they are too busy to write a book or an article but they need their voice in print. For others, it’s a matter of “book doctoring”; making sure the project flows smoothly from chapter to chapter. Honestly, the projects that I’ve taken on are as individual as the authors with whom I collaborate.
Let me make this clear; I am not an editor although I can help you deliver your message clearly. I absolutely will not format manuscripts. I would rather eat worms. I can help you find a book editor and someone to format your manuscript as a professional courtesy, but count me out. The wonderful people who do those things love doing it, where as I hate it. I prefer to stick to what I love doing, which is helping you to craft the story you want to tell or the message you need to express.
How do you know if you need a collaborative writer? Ask your self these questions:
- Do I have my project outline together? Does it clearly express the flow of the project I have in mind? The answer is yes to both questions if the outline is ready to pass off to a collaborator with minimum input. If it’s not, you may not be ready to pull someone else into your project just yet.
- Do I need additional input or help to bring my concept to life? I know exactly what I want to say but I’m not very good at making compelling statements or introducing imagery in the way I write. A collaborative writer can help to jumpstart your imagination and introduce ways to draw your reader in.
- Do I have a platform? Do I know my intended audience and how to reach them? If there is an identifiable market for the completed project and you have developed a marketing plan, going forward with your project may make complete sense. If your answer is no, I will be happy to consult with you for free and let you down gently. There are plenty of people out there who will take your money but if there is no foreseeable market for your project, I will not.
- I have a platform but I’m so busy doing what I do that I don’t have time to write. What can I do? I need someone who can consult with me throughout the project, hear my message and relay my authentic voice to my audience. You need a collaborative writer who will work closely with you to bring your audience what they want to read.
Collaborative writing is by all means a team effort. When you add an additional perspective to your pet project, you will need to leave your ego behind and be prepared to accept constructive criticism.
While the collaborator will, in most circumstances remain behind the scenes, the partnership requires mutual respect. Be prepared for an infusion of imagination and enthusiasm. The job of a collaborative writer is to help you sculpt masterful paragraphs and intense ideas. Come open to building a relationship with your writer. Respect their time and their efforts on your behalf. Ask to review the contract upfront and discuss any terms you might be unfamiliar with. Open communication and transparency by both parties will save you both time and money.