Saturday, October 9, 2021

Writer's Block? Find a Friend to Write With! by Vanessa C. Hawkins

 Vanessa Hawkins Author Page

Big news readers! 

Did you hear about the author that went to jail last month? If not, I'd suggest tuning into Live at Five because apparently they put him in the writer's block when he couldn't get past his first sentence... 


Wait, you heard that one before? Oh... you're just sick and tired of my tremendous sense of humor! Well, that's okay because this month we are going to talk about how I managed to get past my writer's block, pump out a story, all WHILE birthing and raising a child during the covid pandemic!

What did this $%@! just say?!

It's true! And no, I didn't neglect my child, lock her beneath the stairs OR hire a nanny to take care of her with all my big author-made bucks... (heh... heh... *cough*) What I did do however, was ask my friend for a little bit of help. 

Okay a lot of help...

Okay we co-authored a story.

And it's true! Scroll up! I'm only one name on that sexy, art deco cover page! The second one is just as important because without it, Ballroom Riot would never have made it to shelves, or on Amazon, or... well, anywhere books tend to be in your house...

Next to the toilet... for reading and when tissue is scarce!

But as a result, I've had LOADS of people ask what it was like working with another author. What was it like to actually hear a voice in your head that was REAL and able to tell you when your writing was crap! What was it like to have someone as invested in something as you were that you could bounce ideas off of? Obviously, it was pretty good for a ton of reasons. 

1. All those people swimming around in your head are now in the head of another person who KNOWS them. 
2. That other person is JUST as excited as you are to talk about them and what your writing and that time Scarlet had to fight off the Goblin Brother's at the dragon bar to protect her then boyfriend from...
3. When you get writer's block they totally motivate you.

Sometimes she was the one holding the *squirtgun filled with pee*
and sometimes it was me.

Now that last one is a biggie. Because if you've ever written anything in your life, chances are you've encountered this block. It sucks! It more than sucks! And getting past it can make a nice, happy hobby/writing career into an ugly mess of paper, and dead words that you have no faith in. There are writer's who have given up! Cold turkey! They've been unable to shoulder the burden of their block and continue on and I don't blame them. Writing can be a very thankless hobby. But! Writing with another person can be fun, because at least then your not alone? 

That's not true. Please sit with us! You can read a few pages!
You can... wait, where are you going?

I know there have been times where my co-author and I have been brainstorming and instead of doing any writing at all we just laugh at all the meaningless and hilarious stuff we'd like to insert into the plot. A few characters are hers to write, and a few belong to me, and it's a lark discussing how best to put them into awkward situations. 

It's also inspiring. Because not only are you bouncing ideas off a real human person, they know all the minute details of the book and how said ideas may, or may not fit into the story! 

There's someone interested in what you're writing
They encourage you because you have to set a time and date to meet/write via zoom 
They're an extra set of eyes when editing


Well... there are some

It can sometimes be hard when you don't see eye to eye on things. I've known my co-author from the time when I could stay up past ten o'clock in the evening, so we are pretty familiar with each other. We've also written together before--just for fun-- That's not to say that we didn't sometimes have to throw down over some small plot point we disagreed about...

Always pick rock... nothing beats that!

... but we were able to be open enough with each other to figure out solutions when problems or disagreements arose. Also, because we had written with each other before, our styles weren't vastly different. 

Tara: This makes it out to be that one of us sucks...
Me: Leave me alone, I have low self-confidence!

Of course there is always the issue of splitting the royalties and the such, but I mean, if you have writer's block and can't write anything, chances are you aren't going to be making much money anyway. And come on, try it out! All the famous authors are doing it. Even George R. R. Martin let the guys at HBO give it a go on his Song of Ice and Fire series. Like Batman, "it may not be the ending we all deserve, but it was the ended we needed..."

Wait, scratch that! Where's Winds of Winter?

So if you're struggling with writer's block and have a friend--who likes you enough to write with you... and can also write semi-decently... or is even INTERESTED in writing or things you like to write about--give it a go. The worse that can happen is a disjointed story full of plot holes and meaningless drivel. The best that can happen is... well, Dragonlance was written by two authors... And I'm sure Terry and Neil had a blast with Good Omens! 

Between here and the end of the universe there's [...]Loads of buggerall, dear boy."
"But it gets there anyway," Crowley persevered.
"It doesn't matter!"
**Quote from Good Omens


  1. Interesting take. No partner for me but a whole critique group of nit pickers. Keep writing

  2. I've always wondered what it would be like to have another voice in my head, but I'm not sure I'd make a good partner in crime...

    I'm glad it worked for you :)

    1. Well as writers we tend to have so many already... so I can see why one more my tip the balance :P

  3. Hmm, don't think it would work for me, but glad it did for you.

  4. I tried it once, but it almost destroyed our friendship. Our styles were too different, and we couldn't agree on anything. We both had very different ideas of where the story should go. We ended up each writing a different story. I value my critique partners and beta readers. But for me, writing remains a solitary adventure.

    1. I think that's fair. I was worried at first about that very thing, but glad that it worked out in the end. I know for certain that I couldn't have written with just anybody!


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