Having someone reliable to go to to get feedback on your creative work is always a good thing to have. It gives you confidence and validation when you may need it, as well as motivation and accountability. But there’s so much more that mutual writing partners can offer, and that’s what I want to talk about.
In the writing community I had been a part of when I was younger, a lot of people tried to set up things to look for writing partners. They basically did it going by mutual genres that people would write and read and things like that. While that might be a good place to start in looking for someone you could connect with, I never found it particularly helpful when I was looking for a writing partner. And in fact, because it seemed so unhelpful to me, I didn’t even think the idea of a writing partner was a particularly good one for a while.
I only found my writing partner after I had been friends with her for a while and we slowly worked our way up to realizing that we had mutual interests and some of our stories were quite similar. It got to the point where we could pretty much bounce our ideas off each other and it was almost like planning a co-story together even when they weren’t co-stories. We both know how each others’ minds work, and thus generally how our own story ideas will work, so it’s like two minds working as one. When one person can’t quite figure out all the details for their story, they can confidently go to the other person and ask for help, and will usually come away with just the right solution.
This is the kind of thing you should be looking for in a writing partner. Someone who loves your stories just as dearly as you yourself do, and who has an intricate knowledge of them and will be able to give you proper feedback and helpful ideas to make it better. Someone who is not afraid to tell you when something might need to be changed or scrapped entirely, and that you will be okay with listening to them on such an opinion. Someone that you can trust 100% with these stories that are a part of yourself.
Now, I realize that finding such a partner is not an easy thing to do. I was lucky in being able to find my writing partner and that we could work so well together. But it feels like a lot of people will end up settling for less because that’s just how it goes, and sometimes, yes, that is how it goes, but you should always be searching for someone who can work with you so personally like this. It will benefit your stories, and it will benefit your work ethic.
Writing partners can keep each other accountable by telling each other to keep writing, by sharing their work with each other to get immediate feedback when you might not feel so confident in your work. Having someone keep reading for you is a great motivation tool to continue on, because if someone actually wants more, it will force you to write more.
And sometimes, though not necessarily, there is the side benefit of being able to do co-authored stories with your writing partner, and those are always so much fun.