My adventures in speed dating and the on going quest to find a steady writing partner, which as it turns out is like finding a lover.
First, post an ad on a writer’s forum, which is similar to writing a bio for a dating site. Note: Must entice, be savvy but not a know-it-all, exude intelligence, are serious but not overly, be ambitious and respectful, and to some extent, be keenly interested in a long-term relationship. Of course, you must also be willing to converse at length about the art of writing and your process, you know, the intimate details.
My writing process is top secret, distinctive, one of a kind, and reveals far too much about my the precarious state of my inner workings. Bent comes to mind.
Mine isn’t an exact science and when I am forced to open the kimono and expose myself to a stranger I start to twitch. I liken it to slipping between the sheets with a new lover. Remember that first time…. you’re excited, terrified, crazed, and then it hits you. Once the dress comes off, so do the SPANX, the underwire bra, or worse, perhaps you’re wearing full body armor. You ask yourself, what if I jiggle? It’s a land mind of horror. Getting naked physically isn’t all that different from doing it virtually.
I don’t have a process that fits into definition. I don’t plan. I don’t outline. I just write until it works. I jiggle.
I hit the POST button and whisper to the wind. Let it work!
Inner doubt rears up, What if you over thought the bio? You’re humor, it’s kind of twisted and drier than James Bond’s martini.
“Shut up!” I say to Doubt. Go play on the freeway.
You’ve got mail!! Google chimed.
“I told you nasty doubt, I’m spectacular.”
My fingers shaking, open the email.
“… we could be kindred…
“… I hate reading. HAHA” she says, “I know how bad that sounds, but I really do hate reading…”
I paused, literally, and reread the sentence thinking I might have read it wrong. I’m a fast reader and often skim over the best parts of story because my greedy little eyes can’t wait to the turn the page.
I reread the words. Sure enough, she hated reading. The hairs on the back of neck attempted to stand on end, but frankly the weight of the dye and excess use of hair products had zapped their energy. Instead, they tapped a message on my bare skin using Morse Code.
N. O.T. G.O.O.D. W.R.I.T.E.R.S L.O.V.E R.E.A.D.I.N.D. T.H.A.T.’.S W.H.Y. T.H.E.Y W.R.I.T.E. E.N.D.
My desire to find a writing partner overrode my gut and I pushed on. I consoled myself with the fact that the world is vast, and I have not met every writer. It is possible that some writers do not like reading. I don’t like writing book reviews, and I call myself a writer. Strange, but it’s possible. A wave of doubt washed over me and the little voice in my head said, you don’t really believe that… do you?
Sheez. Let it go.
I sent two chapters from a novella series that’s been collecting computer dust in my archive. I love the story, but I want an editor to love it, and so far, they haven’t. Off the chapters went to my new kindred spirit.
You’ve got mail.
“…Sorry, I am not a “first person” type of reader or writer. I’m used to third person…” My no-longer kindred sprit wrote.
I neglected to mention in my bio the story is written in first person. How could I have forgotten that? Should it have mattered?
Turns our my kindred spirit and I weren’t meant to be. Later, over a glass of wine the little voice in my head said, “I thought writers read… you know, everything…”
What can I say? I speed dated, was picked up, and dumped, all within a twenty-four hour period. I suppose it could have been worse, it might have been a rejection letter from an editor or agent.
On a serious note, do you have a preference on point of view? Does it dictate your book choice?
Epilogue: I did meet another writer who is keen to give it go.