Maybe you found someone that you’re thinking of collaborating with?
Can you be sure that you both approach things the same way?
Try our fun quiz and see how your scores stack up!
Question 1 – how often do you write?
A: Daily. I sometimes find myself writing when common sense says that I should be cooking tea / going to work / escaping from the burning building. Then I tear myself away and fall back to thinking about writing.
B: In bursts. Probably once a week or so, when I have the time / space / ideas / motivation / doughnuts to make it possible.
C: I will tackle a short story idea when it comes to me. Sometimes I get them all the time, other times it can be six months with nothing.
D: Never. It’s just not possible. I need to go on a retreat / win the lottery and quit my day job / do some extended research on copper mining in Chile before I could possibly start.
Question 2 – do you seek feedback on your writing?
A: I seek feedback from anyone who is interested enough to read my writing. I accept that any feedback is valuable, even if it might occasionally be delivered in a heavy-handed manner by people less experienced at delivering criticism.
B: I will let my trusted friends see my work. I trust their criticisms because I have known them for years.
C: I sometimes submit work for anthologies and competitions. A couple of times I got notes back from the organiser with some feedback. I don’t really agree with what they said.
D: Nobody else has ever read any of my writing.
Question 3 – are you embarrassed to say that you’re a writer?
A: I mention being a writer quite often. Many people lose interest when they realise that they can’t buy my work in the airport shop, but they accept it as part of who I am.
B: I am very open about being a writer when I am with writerly friends. I make sure that I keep it a secret from my work colleagues / family / moms on the school run in case they don’t take me seriously.
C: Only my partner knows that I write, and obviously I keep everything hidden in my underwear drawer. When I have a bestseller, then I will tell people.
D: Nobody must know I am trying to write a book. My partner caught me hiding a manuscript, and I had to pretend it was letters from an imaginary lover to throw him/her off the scent.
Question 4 – how do deadlines affect you?
A: If I know I have a deadline I will finish the work in good time, so that I know I have enough time to polish and perfect. I will add on some contingency in case of unexpected disasters too. I feel smug when it’s all done.
B: A deadline is a great motivator to me. I will assume I have lots of time and dawdle a bit but then panic at the last minute and bust a gut to make sure I meet it. That’s quite thrilling and I feel a real sense of achievement afterwards.
C: A deadline is a guideline at best. Anyone who ever did an original piece of work knows that it’s impossible to really know how long it will take. I feel justified in taking as long as I need.
D: Deadlines are anaethma to me. Anyone who ever tries to make me stick to a deadline will feel my wrath.
Question 5 – How much have you written?
A: I have a good number of finished pieces. I could easily lay my hands on fifty thousand words written by me.
B: I have a handful of finished short stories.
C: I have started lots of things, but only ever finished one or two.
D: I write slowly, musing over ever word. I haven’t finished a single piece yet.
Total up your scores as follows:
Question 1 A-20 B-10 C-5 D-1
Question 2 A-20 B-10 C-5 D-1
Question 3 A-20 B-10 C-5 D-1
Question 4 A-20 B-20 C-5 D-1
Question 5 A-20 B-10 C-5 D-1
Your scores, and what they mean:
You have enthusiasm, dedication and a healthy work ethic. Seek out a writing partner with a similar profile and there is a good chance that you will succeed.
Something is holding you back. Examine whether it’s the time you can dedicate to writing, the importance it has in your life, or maybe just your experience. Whatever it is, make sure that you explore it thoroughly with any potential writing partner so that it doesn’t emerge as a problem further down the line.
Writing is not really a big part of your life is it? If your collaborator has a similar score and you just want a laugh then that is fine. If you’re looking to split the work in a way that plays to your strengths then that is fine as well. Otherwise… are you sure you want to do this?
Are you sure you want to write? Maybe you like the idea of writing but the practical side is problematic? Sort out the basics – you can’t rely on a collaborator to do that for you.