Listen to Pilot Light

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Finishing a book means you get to write the next one

I just finished writing a book with my good friend Jim Beckett. It was largely a long distance cowrite, with him in the US and me in Asia, which produced its own challenges, but overall it was a fun experience. I have written with other writers before, but on nonfiction projects, mostly about computers and voice recognition. So Jim and I needed to work out a method that let us collaborate, push each other, and then agree on some final choices.

As I said, it went rather well. Jim and I were always both focused on what made the book better, with little regard for who was doing what (which generally depended on who had the idea and energy for the task). My agent, Rebecca Pratt, is reading it now, and will give her thoughts on how marketable it is, but that is, and always has to be a separate issue for me.

Jim and I had bounced several story ideas off each other when we launched this project, sitting in his living room in Silver City, New Mexico, and perhaps we will pick up one of those to tackle in the future. More likely, we will take the lessons learned in writing this one and come up with something new altogether. Time will tell. In the meantime, I am working on another book project that is moving along nicely. I can't keep from writing, and usually have several stories in some stage of development, so there is never a problem in having something to work on.

I find it an interesting contrast to write one story with another writer, and then go back to work on one that is entirely mine. When it is all yours, you have the freedom to do almost anything, but you have to provide all the effort, the ideas, and inspiration. Both are good and interesting ways to work. And working, keeping writing, is the important thing; although I want to finish books, get them published and see them being read, I want to be deeply involved in the next one.