Advice for co-writers by Lillian Brummet
This article comes to you courtesy of Lillian Brummet of Brummet's Conscious Blog. I will be a guest on Lillian's radio show, Conscious Discussions Talk Radio on Thursday, January 9, 2014 http://www.blogtalkradio.com/consciousdiscussions
A lot of people ask us how we can work together being that we are married? It is not as hard as it seems from the outside and is much like any other working relationship other then that we see each other at the end of the workday as well. Of course we’ve been working together for more than a dozen years now so we’ve had the time to figure out who is good at what.
The key is really finding out what your co-writer is good at and what he likes to do, along with his favorite hours to work (Is he a morning person?) and how he likes to work (Does the work environment have to be absolutely silent?). And the same goes for you – and then with that information you can figure out if you can work in the same space or whether separate office space is the key for your situation.
For the first 6 years we shared a single computer, in one small office – but that only worked because Lillian is a morning person who burns out by 3 or 4 in the afternoon, and she likes to go to bed between 9-11 PM. Whereas Dave likes to stay up until the wee hours of the morning – this is when he is most productive in the office. So we work with our natural time clocks.
We’ve learned that Dave is very good with face-to-face and group situations, whereas Lillian is a bit shy that way and doesn’t like being the center of attention. Instead she is better at dealing with the media and one-on-one situations. Dave has great skills in editing, proofing, layout, and graphics. He also has talents in website maintenance, handling the tax book entries, book cover design, conception development, and setting up technological upgrades in the office. Whereas Lillian has strong typing, record keeping, organization, manuscript development, and research skills. She enjoys communicating with the media, handles the queries and marketing, hosts the Conscious Discussions Talk Radio show and manages the daily blog: Brummet’s Conscious Blog. So we split off where we can to do our separate things, but then meet up again in the middle.
Quite often we break away from the office and the home, go out for a hike or clear our minds by a river or lake and then come back to the office with a better understanding of where we are at and where we hope to go. Having brainstorming sessions is very important, and just plain talking about what we are doing can reveal things one of us hadn’t considered.
It can also be a challenge to let go of some things, to understand that the other person can’t get to something at the moment, or that they are unable to complete a project right now due to some delay, or that they are having a grumpy moment and need to yell at the walls for a moment. Co-writers have to realize that each person works at their own pace, they have their own strengths and weakness, and their own ideas as to what is a priority. But there are technological challenges and ‘things we’d love to get to but don’t yet have the time for’ that rise up as well. We find the best thing to do is to list these and then in the next meeting have a discussion about them – even if all we do is confirm they are still on the agenda.
The most important aspects to getting along all these 22 years we’ve been together is common courtesy and mutual respect. You see, it doesn’t really matter “why” the other person wants something done a certain way – if they need it to be that way, and we care about them – then, what’s the big deal about making the adjustment for them? Too many of us become hardened and expect more from the other than we are giving of ourselves.
As human beings we can also come to rely on another person, and they perceive this as ingratitude – so we make sure to let the other person know they are appreciated and to give them credit for the things they’ve accomplished or contributed.
There is no doubt that without these collaborative efforts we’d never have accomplished so much in so little a time.
~ Award winning authors Lillian & Dave Brummet produce and host the Conscious Discussions talk radio show where they frequently highlight world of writing genre topics, and manage the Brummet’s Conscious Blog, where they occasionally feature Q&A interviews with other authors about their experiences in the realm of writing. To date they have written 5 published books including the guide for authors: Purple Snowflake Marketing – How To Make Your Book Stand Out In A Crowd. They have another poetry book coming out in late 2013/early 2014, and have 2 more manuscripts in the works. Visit their site to learn more about everything the Brummets do: www.brummet.ca