I have always considered myself to be an idea person. Having ideas certainly helps in my ability to write, not just in coming up with new themes, but in variety of writing styles. Generally in my most personal pieces, I tend to go through the process completely alone. The full written piece is just mine. But there are other pieces I write that with collaboration from others (mostly only my husband), become even more effective, and I feel more appealing to a greater audience.
At times I feel like something may be missing from one of my written pieces, or that my presentation is just not on the mark. I am very appreciative, in these cases, when my husband gives them a read through. He’s an outstanding editor, a far better editor than me. I think that he is also a great writer, but he takes far longer to write similar length pieces than I do. He’s very strategic, and I think even more artistic than me, in some ways. Ideas just pour out of my head, and since I’m a fast typist they flow as quickly as I think them onto the computer screen with very few pauses. Before I know it, the post is done. Then I need to look it over to figure out what in the heck my brain was spewing out.
When I read back my posts to myself, I inevitably make changes, but sometimes I still only see the piece in a singular way. When my husband edits one of my posts, he leaves the meat of the post alone (he always seems to like my ideas), but has a brilliant way of adding subtle bits here and there, and some “artistic” touches that accentuate the piece. He’s also a grammar hound, and shuffles some sentences in ways that make them even more effective. And yes, he does occasionally add an idea or two.
I used to do marketing writing for a job in the past. I feel that collaboration can definitely be highly beneficial for that type of writing. Not only in the ways I mentioned above with my husband, but also in idea brainstorming. Though idea brainstorming can be helpful from small or sometimes even large groups, I find blog post and certain other types of writing collaboration best done with one other person max. Yes, in some cases there can be too many hands in the cookie jar, so to speak. This is especially the case when you want your own voice to shine through in a written piece. Since my husband fully understands my voice, he never edits it out or changes it. He knows me well. I suppose if you are a serious writer working with an editor, it would also be crucial to find someone who knows you well enough not to change your voice. I suppose that attribute would also be the mark of a good and effective editor. With the wrong editor I could see conflicts arising. Who wants to see their written work changed to the point of unrecognition? I would see that as deflating, and even angering.
Do you ever get another person’s feedback for your blog posts before publishing them? If not, how about other things you have written? What have been your experiences collaborating with others? What made it effective and helpful, and what may have made it frustrating?