In lieu of big long several-weeks-long writing retreats, I’ve decided to try out regular weekend retreats. This weekend, I am taking along a writer friend to go and write in the mountains. Will it work? Will we have chemistry as writing partners, quietly allowing each other to work, but also encourage each other raucously at other moments? Will we have fun? I know the possibilities: when a writing partnership and writing marathon works, it REALLY works!
I have a friend who has been a years-long writing partner to me. We are both working on novels, so that is very helpful in having a common mindset and goal, though I am sure it’s not critical, just that we are both committed to our work. Sometimes I write short stories, and it is enlightening to compare our processes. Anyway, we get together once a week in a very loosely structured, but consistent manner–chatting for the first 30 minutes of our meeting, writing for at least a solid hour after that. Sharing is optional, though we read each other the work we’ve done everytime, offering only encouragement. It’s amazing how productive we each can be in that hour!
Oftentimes, it is the only meaningful writing we each accomplish. We have written throughout her pregnancy, and with her daughter swinging in a little chair watching us, and it has been an amazing experience, one of the most valuable relationships in my life.
Between the two of us, we have written hundreds and hundreds of pages in those meetings. What would I do without her? It is not just about the writing either, though it is certainly the focus of our meetings.
I have plans to go off for a weekend to write, and I am hoping to uncover another setting in which I can create, somewhere in between those weekly meetings with my writing partner/friend and three weeks alone at a writing colony.