Often, writing can seem like a solitary existence with only the thoughts in your head. However, some of the most satisfying creative experiences tend to spring from working with someone else on a writing project. It is this collaborative process that yields the greatest benefits. Here are some of the advantages:
True Value. Clients usually have a limited budget and it is important to appreciate that fact. Working in a collaborative way minimizes the cost because the client is participating in the research, writing, and editing. A less labor-intensive project in terms of my time translates into substantial cost savings for the client.
Enhanced Learning Curve. When a client joins in on the writing process, they gain a new understanding of how it works. Many clients come to me with ideas but are not sure of how or where to start whether it is website content, a resume, a dissertation or even a book. Collaboration with a writer may even help them strike out on their own in the future. However, I am always available to join them on their creative journey should they enjoy having me as a compass.
Ad-Hoc Assistance. Collaboration on specific aspects of projects rather than the “whole enchilada” is another way to benefit from working with a writer. Numerous projects that I have involved in have already been created but simply need a partner in the form of an editor or, for those more sensitive about their work, a proofreader. When working in this manner with a client, I have come to recognize the need for treading lightly but communicating in a big way in order to understand just how much collaboration the client really wants. Do they want ideas and content to be restructured and resynthesized or do they want me to ensure that they get an “A+” on their grammar skills? It is always best to ask rather than assume as assumptions are never right. Projects that I have recently collaborated in this manner include Michael Cammack’s soon-to-be released, “CLOSE is Not a Four Letter Word” and a personal data book for LS Screening CEO, John Pate. Many projects that I collaborate with Brian Parsley, CEO of WeSkill, on are polishing projects, which can be just as satisfying as ones that involve intense writing or editing.
Collaborating is very much like what I imagine Dr. Frankenstein was attempting to do. In the end, all the pieces come together, but, hopefully, they are more attractive and well-received than the monster! Collaboration helps me, as a writer, better understand my clients (and possibly read their minds) as well as emulate their style when I am called upon to be the “ghostwriter.”
Collaboration does require an open enviroinment that combines constructive criticism, enthusiasm and excitement, and singular purpose despite two different minds. It also involves a substantial amount of patience when various work styles and “methods to the madness” converge. This is especially true as I work in a non-linear fashion, sometimes writing the middle and end before the introduction and title! In the end, though, it all comes together and the collaboration just feels right. For anyone who has an idea or vision of what they want to do but are helplessly staring at a blank computer screen, consider working with a writer who can help you scream, “It’s Alive!”, and make the vision come to life.